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JAMES (JIM) COLLIER STEPHENS
Born: Aug 24, 1943
Date of Passing: Aug 05, 2022Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
JAMES (JIM) COLLIER STEPHENS
After a courageous battle with a lengthy illness, Jim sorrowfully and peacefully passed away on August 5, 2022, in Winnipeg, surrounded by family, at the age of 78.
Jim was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, and teacher and he will be sorely missed. He was predeceased by his first wife of almost nine years Nancy Stephens (nee Peterson) and his mother Ethel Stephens (nee Collier). Jim is survived by his second wife of 35 years, Luella (nee Smith), his son Kristian (Jennifer), his daughters, Kelly (Jared) and Heather (Bobby), and his grandchildren, Lyla, Colton, Rachel, and Ryan. He also leaves behind many loved cousins, nephews, and nieces.
Jim was born in Toronto on August 24, 1943 but moved to Winnipeg when he was two. He then grew up with his mother and her family in Winnipeg. Jim attended both Mulvey and Gordon Bell Schools. He specifically enjoyed playing soccer and basketball. Jim was on the city's 1961-1962 soccer championship team.
From a young age, Jim had a passion and a growing talent for art. He used these traits to graduate from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts in 1972. He then graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 1973. Jim taught fine arts for the next 25 years at Elmwood High School in Winnipeg to a few thousand grades 7 to 12 students. He often would help to ensure some of his students had lunch money. Jim took pride in the several murals that his students had created throughout the school. He also enjoyed being the school's basketball team coach in some of his early teaching years. "Steve", as he was known by many of his students, always enjoyed chatting with his former students when they met in the community.
Throughout his retirement, Jim created art as a member of the Manitoba Institute of Sculptors and Artists and the Winnipeg Sketch Club. He was an avid gardener and nature photographer. He stayed active by hiking, walking the family dogs, and playing basketball with his grandchildren. Jim enjoyed relaxing with music, reading a good book, watching movies, and spending time with family at the cottage by Lake Winnipeg.
The family would like to personally thank both (one) the Access River East's respite staff Kelechi (Casey) and Diane Sewell and (two) the staff on the third floor East at Concordia Hospital for their TLC of Jim.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow at John Black Memorial United Church, 898 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg. Masks will be mandatory.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating a non-perishable item for the West Broadway Community Ministry as per Jim's support for the community.
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 10, 2022
Condolences & Memories (11 entries)
Jim and his dog, Poirot, were dog walking buddies of myself and our own dog Abby, along with other "dog walkers" in the Fraser's Grove Park area. There are some great memories of those times. Jim, Poirot, and Abby are together again, healthy and active, and enjoying themselves. - Posted by: sandi scanlan (neighbours) on: Aug 16, 2022
Sending my condolences to the family. My love for art grew with Mr. Stephens. Thank you for believing in each and every one of your students. - Posted by: Michelle Sidley (Former Student) on: Aug 15, 2022
Very sad to hear this. "Steve" was the coolest teacher I had. When I would tell my kids who are adults now about what it was like for us in school, Steve was in most cases in these stories about school. He was a good man that made a lasting impression on so many for so long. It honestly felt wrong calling him Mr. Stephens. So long Steve. Thanks. - Posted by: Steve A (Former student ) on: Aug 14, 2022
I was lucky to have Mr. Stephenson as my art teacher. He was one of my favorite teachers. He was always so kind and patient. He taught me a lot about art that I carry with me to this day. My deepest condolences to his family. - Posted by: Jen (Former Student ) on: Aug 14, 2022
What an amazing art teacher. I remember lots about his classes. Best part of my day was going to his class. Pamela G - Posted by: Gibbons Pamela (Student ) on: Aug 14, 2022
My deepest condolences to Luella and family. I have many special memories of Jim from my early years as he was not only my cousin but also my godfather. I always looked up to him and admired his sophisticated, quiet and kind manner. I didn't get to see much of Jim after moving away from Winnipeg in 1994 but my fond memories of him have never faded. - Posted by: Teresa (Cousin) on: Aug 14, 2022
I was lucky enough to be one of his students just before he retired. I had zero art skills but everyday he would always encourage us to work on something or do something new. Later I worked with his daughter at a local greenhouse where I learned he was a very avid gardener, we would often chat about roses and other more difficult to grow shurbs. He always talked with such kindness and understanding even when dealing with a teenager who at the time thought he had all the answers. My condolences to the family. - Posted by: Robert (Former student) on: Aug 12, 2022
Mr. Stephens was my Art Teacher for 3 years in the late 1970s. He taught me how to draw using silverpoint and to paint with acrylic paints. He was a meticulous and sensitive teacher. Even though we often had a rowdy bunch in art class (That was Elmwood!) he was a kind and caring person. He earned the respect of the students by demonstrating fairness and a sense of humour. Even so, it was clear he was in charge. I am sorry I never had the opportunity to see his work! I remember him telling me he was working on a very detailed pencil portrait at one point, but he rarely had time to devote to his own practice. I know how exhausting teaching can be; I have been a professional visual artist and art educator, for four decades. I am grateful for the early encouragement and assistance Mr. Stephens provided. My he rest in peace, and may his family and friends find comfort in many good memories. - Posted by: Michael Boss (Former Student) on: Aug 11, 2022
Mr. Stephens was my Art teacher from 1979 to 1986. He found the talent in me and inspired me to take it forward. He introduced me to dry point ink printing, soap stone carving, scrimshaw and the annual school musicals where I was able to design and paint my own sets with the help of Ms. Nagy. Most of all he saw me as an artist to paint wildlife like that of Robert Bateman on stone and on canvas. I have sold and gifted my work to people as far as Whistler, BC to St. John’s Nfld. I have three paintings on my living room wall right now I painted all because of Mr. Stephens. He encouraged me and I am forever grateful he got me on that path. He was my favourite teacher growing up. - Posted by: Kelly (Former student) on: Aug 11, 2022
The coolest and most memorable teacher I’ve ever had. Your class was always the BEST! I always looked forward to art. I think we ALL did! Rest easy, Mr. Stephens!!! My condolences to his loved ones. - Posted by: Pamela (Former Student ) on: Aug 10, 2022
Dear Family and Friends of Mr. Stephens...from one of Mr. Stephens students, I send my deepest sympathy and condolences during your time of loss... Mr. Stephens was an amazing Teacher, he treated his students as equals and never gave up on any of us...it may be 25 years since being in his class, but he has crossed my mind over that time, and I always hoped all was well in his world! I may have been 17 years old when I last saw him, but he sure was a class act then and I can only imagine the amazing man he is to his family and friends over his lifetime. I was one of his lucky students whom has her drawing as a mural on the walls of Elmwood High School and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity. Mr. Stephens I thank you for the encouragement, understanding, the talent you saw in all of us (even if it wasn't an art talent) and advocating for us kids! Rest Easy Mr. Stephens! - Posted by: Jenn (Former Student) on: Aug 10, 2022
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