September 19, 1946 – September 13, 2023
In loving memory ~
Jim Robertson was born in Bralorne, B.C., and within a few years, the family relocated to Kelowna – where Jim would live for the majority of his 76 years. His childhood was spent riling up his three sisters, roaming Glenmore with friends and liberating apples from local orchards as a matter of course. He attended Glenmore Elementary, Dr. Knox and KSS, but would finish high school down at the coast under the watchful eye of his eldest sister, Phyllis.
It was while he was living in North Vancouver that he met Judy, who was a nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital with Phyllis when she conveniently attended a party at the house. Jim asked her out based on a bet with his brother-in-law. They married in 1969 and spent the next 51 years together.
After they moved to Kelowna and started a family, they made brief moves to Edmonton and Sorrento, then settled down in Westbank for good. Early work in the irrigation industry led to Jim starting his own company, Westside Irrigation. And after a few years of filling the winter downtime by running special events, he and a partner founded Interior Draft Services. Jim would run Interior Draft, now known as Interior Beverages, for 34 years until its sale in 2018.
Jim enjoyed being active and social and spent many years golfing, curling, and boating with friends and family, and ferrying kids to soccer tournaments and campouts. He was an active member of the Associated Canadian Travellers (ACT) in Kelowna and was very involved in the club’s service work in the community. Favourite pastimes included playing gin rummy with friends and trouncing players worldwide at backgammon online.
Those years were also full of camping trips and family reunions throughout southern B.C. Later travels took Jim and Judy on great trips to Mexico and Hawaii and cruising up the B.C. coast, but the ones they loved most were RV trips with the Loonie Club and to less travelled fishing lakes where they could bellyboat to their hearts’ content. Just this summer Jim took the kids and grandkids on an epic trip to Tofino where surf lessons, whale watching, playing pool and big family dinners created lifelong memories.
In recent years, Jim enjoyed getting together for Friday lunches with good friends at the Kelowna Curling Club and the KGCC. And after relocating to downtown Kelowna, he really appreciated making new friends among his condo neighbours—and of course their weekly Canasta games.
More than anything Jim loved spending time with his grandkids, whether loading the motorhome with floaties to take to Sun-Oka Beach or ordering triple orders of french fries for the table. Jim’s love of driving the boat conveniently took a back seat whenever the grandkids were around. And watching Nico and Thom and Sonja and Andrew leap from the ferry docks and rafts in Gellatly Bay and swim and splash their hearts out made for the best summer afternoons.
Anyone who knew Jim could tell you that his humour and his presence were as big as his heart. He has left us all feeling lucky to have been a part of his life. Jim would always step up for friends and strangers in need and would often bring out the laughs wherever you found him.
Jim is predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Judy Robertson (née Allan), his parents Jack Robertson and Lavinia Robertson (née Lewis), and his older sisters Phyllis Whalen and Judy Schultz. He is survived by his children Pam Robertson (Alex Schutte) and Cameron Robertson (Susan Ross) and his younger sister Linda Faulconer, as well as his much-loved grandchildren – Sonja, Andrew, Thomas, and Nicolas – and numerous other family members and friends.
Thank you to the many doctors and nurses at Kelowna General Hospital for their care, compassion and laughter during Jim’s last few weeks. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation would be appreciated.
Jim’s family is hoping to hold a celebration of life in Kelowna sometime this fall. Please contact Pam Robertson through Jim’s email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to be notified of the details.
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