The family of Jim Girvin announce with sadness his passing on May 18, 2013 at the age of 87.
Jim was born in Vancouver on March 29, 1926 to Alma and James Girvin. After high school, he spent a year studying theology at Mt. Angel Abbey, a Benedictine monastery, in St. Benedict, Oregon. He later studied at UBC where he obtained his degree in education. He worked at St. George’s School in Vancouver for a year before taking a teaching position in Port Alice where he met his future wife, Mary Charleston in the spring of 1952. Jim and Mary were married in Vancouver in August of 1953 and began their life together in Port Alice. Within a few months they moved to Port Hardy where Jim was principal of Robert Scott Elementary as well as an appointed stipendiary magistrate. It was during their Port Hardy years that Jim and Mary began their family by welcoming two daughters.
Jim and Mary moved to Quesnel in the fall of 1957 and over the next few years completed their family with the addition of two more daughters and two sons. Jim was principal of Quesnel Elementary, which later became Helen Dixon Elementary, for many years. He taught English at Quesnel Secondary School for a year and spent many years teaching various night school courses to adults. He spent the last few years of his teaching career as principal of Barlow Creek Elementary and St. Anne’s School.
In addition to teaching, Jim was an active participant in his community and over the years was a member of many organizations including, the Quesnel and District Teachers Association, the Rotary Club, and the Seniors’ Society. At various times he served on the boards of the G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital, the Quesnel Library, School District # 28 and UNBC. He was involved with St. Anne’s Parish Council and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed many years as an alderman and was coroner for several years.
Jim volunteered tirelessly and cheerfully whether it was peeling potatoes at Billy Barker Days, calling bingo, playing Santa Claus, filling and delivering Christmas hampers or selling raffle tickets for a local charity or fundraiser. He gave generously to many charities and in particular to his favorite, WaterCan.
After leaving Quesnel in 2008, Jim spent two years in Campbell River before settling in Cranbrook in July
of 2010. Many of his fondest memories were of his time spent in Quesnel, but he was at home wherever he was because he had the gift of contentment and gratitude; he loved life and he loved people. He will be remembered for his kindness, unfailing good nature, quick wit and generous spirit.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, his siblings Joan and Gerry, his wife Mary and grandsons Rod and Matthew. He is survived by his children: Pat (Randy Eckland), Jayne (Chris Waring), Matthew, Michele (Kevin Davis), Theresa (Richard Williams) and Timothy (Sarah Rose) as well as grandchildren: Sean, Kristin, Brenden, Brian, Elsa, Megan, Bryn, Molly, Fergus, Tyler, Alison, Garrett, Nicholas, Reid, Caitlin and Becca and great grandchildren: Callum, Carter, Ava, Mya, Isaac, Luke, Ryland, Landon, Sumer, Leah, Charlie, Grace, Claire, Hope, Jude, Lily, Norah, Rosalie, Ellexandra, and Juniper.
There will be a funeral mass and celebration of Jim’s life on June 22, 2013 starting at 11:00 a.m. at St. Anne’s Parish Church.