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JIM PERRY May 27, 1926 - June 8, 2012 Jim Perry has left this life, passing away on June 8, 2012 at Riverview Health Centre, shortly after his 86th birthday. His wife of 63 years, Janice, mourns his passing, together with their six children - Drew (Valerie), Daryl (Heather Frayne) in Winnipeg, David (Kathy McDevitt) in Aspen, Colorado, Marilyn (Chris Crosthwaite) in Veneta, Oregon, Dean in Torrance, Ontario, and Doug (Leah) in North Vancouver. His eleven grandchildren - Megan Sobie (Greg Sobie) and Adam; Tim and Jesse; Sierra and Tiana; Joshua, Jordan (Jeanette Johns) and Karen Crosthwaite; Hunter and Jackson - and two great-grandchildren (Audrey and Adele Sobie) also miss him deeply. Jim was born on May 27, 1926 in Estevan, Saskatchewan to Thomas Albert and Ethel Viola Perry, as the youngest of five children. His brothers Don and Allan and his sisters Grace and Bun predeceased him. While attending United College he felt called to enter theology, graduating and being ordained as a United Church minister. He later took his young family with him to New York where he attended Union Theological Seminary, obtaining his Masters of Divinity. His strong, unwavering faith guided him throughout his work and his life. Jim dedicated his ministry to church congregations in many communities across Canada, starting with summer placements in Emerson, Manitoba, where he commuted from Winnipeg with Janice on his motorcycle. His first full congregation was in Carberry, Manitoba; followed by Red Lake, Ontario; West Haverstraw, New York; Ottawa (Brittania United Church); Winnipeg (Harrow United Church); Mississauga (Applewood and St. Stephen's-on-the-Hill United Churches); North Vancouver (Highlands United Church); and Calgary (Riverview and McDougall United Churches). Children were born at each of the first six stops on this journey. After retiring, he and Janice moved to High River, Alberta, from where he served several Alberta churches on an interim basis. About 12 years ago they decided to move back to Winnipeg, where they had first met at university and then married in 1949. Janice had met Jim when she invited his roommate to a Sadie Hawkins dance and Jim conspired to meet her at the front door first. They were a beautiful and loving couple ever afterward. Jim was a man of many gifts. He was an accomplished singer at university; he played the piano and trumpet; he was a keen photographer in his early years and a talented watercolour painter in his later years. His paintings grace the walls of family and friends. He fell in love with the mountains after a youthful summer in Banff, and was an eager hiker and skier ever after. He learned to sail in his childhood at the family cottage and continued to enjoy sailing his small sailboats until he retired. He loved to camp with Janice and the children all over Canada. And there was golf, of course, which he enjoyed playing with Janice, even when she beat him. These pursuits strongly influenced his children and grandchildren's lives and are reflected in their ongoing activities and careers. However, Jim's greatest gift was his ability to reach out to others with warmth and genuine interest and affection. He made strong connections with people and touched them through his help and presence at key moments in their lives. This essential aspect of his self remained with him even after other capacities began to leave him in the last years with Alzheimer's; he continued to greet visitors and new acquaintances with a warm smile and an engaging question. Jim's family wishes to thank the staff of CD-4 at Riverview Health Centre for the wonderful care they provided in Jim's last nine months of life, and they acknowledge the caring staff of the third floor at Poseidon Care Centre where he resided for the prior year. Jim and Janice appreciated the companionship and support while they lived at the Parkway Retirement Community as well. For those who wish to remember Jim with a donation, a fund has been set up in his name. Donations may be sent to St. Stephen's -on-the-Hill United Church, 998 Indian Rd., Mississauga, ON, L5H 3L7. Please mark on the cheque or envelope the name - James M. Perry Memorial Fund. A memorial service will be held at Fort Garry United Church, 800 Point Road, on Monday, June 25, 2012 at 1:00 p.m., with Dr. Gordon Taylor and Lori Stewart. NEIL BARDAL FUNERAL CENTRE (204) 949-2200 www.nbardal.mb.ca
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 16, 2012
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