November 18, 1941 – July 30, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
It is with heavy hearts the family announces Jim’s passing.
He is survived by his loving wife, Laura, devoted daughters Shannon (Chris), Robyn (Peter) and his beloved grandchildren Adalyn, Kai and Arlo. He leaves behind his sister Mary Anne (Bob), brother Peter (Bev) and sister-in-law Barb.
He is predeceased by his parents, Agnes and Campbell, and brother, Norman.
Jim was a visionary and artist, recognizing potential in everyone and creating dreams from the mundane. “Follow your bliss” was his constant refrain and he enthusiastically cared about others finding theirs. His keen intelligence wove intricate webs, usually aiming to serve the collective good, and always returning to lay out the practical steps to make it happen.
He knew how to listen and he really cared. His kind, gentle spirit was as constant as the sun rising in the morning.
Born in Vancouver, Jim grew up in Kitsilano, forming a deep connection with water through time on the ocean and at the family cabin at Cultus Lake. In his formative years, he was a lifeguard, camp counsellor, roofer, jazz musician and swim coach, beginning a lifetime of teaching and inspiring others through diverse mediums.
Jim had a passion for knowledge. He studied at UBC (MA, Library Sciences) and while working at the Institute for Animal Resource Ecology he met Laura, the love of his life and wife of 50 years.
Jim and Laura relocated to Kimberley in 1976, settling into a home that has never stopped evolving. Their house and garden are a labour of love. They were an incredible team, playing pivotal roles in the creation of EKES (now Wildsight) and the Kimberley Nature Park Society. Jim was a key figure in the expansion of Centre 64, including the gallery.
Jim was a teacher librarian at McKim and the College of the Rockies before retiring. After ‘retirement’, Jim and Laura launched Mainstreams, dedicated to water education and science. They coordinated the Columbia Basin Water Quality Monitoring Network and brought water education programs to kids throughout the region.
There was nothing Jim loved more than his family, and spending time with his grandchildren was his greatest joy. He loved nature (especially water), playing music, woodworking, photography and learning new ways of doing things. He was a gifted musician, playing the piano, saxophone, flute, clarinet and guitar.
Jim was full of grace until the end. We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Buddo, the Oncology team at Cranbrook Regional Hospital and the Home Health Palliative Care team for their incredible support over the past few months.
A celebration of life will be held on September 10, 2pm at Centre 64.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
~ Wildsight’s Jim & Laura Duncan Water Education Fund
~ Prostate Cancer Foundation BC
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