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Born: Mar 28, 1922

Date of Passing: May 17, 2004

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THE HONOURABLE JAMES A. RICHARDSON, P.C. March 28, 1922 - May 17, 2004 Peacefully, with his family by his side, James Richardson died, aged 82, after a gallant battle with Alzheimers. Jim was predeceased by his parents, James A. Richardson and Muriel Sprague Richardson; and his granddaughter Siobhan Richardson. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Shirley; his five children, Jim, Carolyn (Larry Hursh), Royden (Beverley), Serena (Kurt Weinheimer), Sara (Graeme Thomson) and his daughter-in-law Joan Richardson; his sisters, Agnes Benidickson and Kathleen Richardson; and his brother George Richardson. He was loved and cherished by his 15 grandchildren, James, Raif, Cassidy and Sprague Richardson; Brenden, Danny and Hilary Hursh; Ronald, Bryden and Quinn Richardson; Cyrus Weinheimer; Laurel, Talia, John Gray and Charlotte Thomson. Jim was born and raised in Winnipeg where he attended St. Johns Ravenscourt School and later graduated from Queens University in Kingston with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics. Enlisting in 1943, Jim served with the R.C.A.F. as a Pilot Officer in anti-submarine patrol out of Labrador and Iceland. He logged over 1000 hours on active service as an Air Force Pilot and was awarded the War Medal 1939-1945, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp, the 1939-1945 Star and the Atlantic Star. Upon leaving the Air Force, Jim entered the family firm of James Richardson & Sons, Limited in 1946. He worked in the Grain Export Department in Montreal, the Grain Merchandising Department in Toronto, and Richardson Securities in Toronto. He returned to the Winnipeg Head Office serving as Vice President for several years and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of James Richardson & Sons, Limited from 1966 to 1968. During that time, Jim was asked to serve on many Boards. At age 32, Jim was the youngest Director ever appointed to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. He was a Director of the International Nickel Company, Investors Group, the Hudsons Bay Company, and Canadian Pacific Railway. Jim served as Chairman of the Board of Governors for St. Johns Ravenscourt School from 1952 to 1965 and Honorary Chairman from 1965 to 1978. He also served as a Trustee of Queens University from 1958 to 1969. In 1968, Jim put public service ahead of his business interests, resigning from the family firm and his corporate directorships in order to represent Winnipeg South in the Federal election. Winning elections in 1968, 1972 and 1974, he was a member of Prime Minister Trudeaus cabinet for 10 years. Sworn to the Privy Council in 1968, he was Minister Without Portfolio (1968), Minister of Supply and Services (1969 to 1972), Minister of National Defence (1972 to 1978), and Chancellor of the Royal Military College (1972 to 1978). He resigned from Cabinet in 1978, crossing the floor to sit as an Independent. The Honourable James Richardson was very active in voluntary public service, both from a local and national perspective. Appointed by Max Bell, Jim was honoured to serve for over 20 years as Director and then Chairman of the Max Bell Foundation. Jim was one of the four Founding Members of the Canada West Council now called the Canada West Foundation (1970 to 1997). Jim was National Chairman of the Fundraising Campaign for the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada which provided financial support for Canadian athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane (1982), in Edinburgh, Scotland (1986), and Auckland, New Zealand (1990). He was appointed Honorary President from 1982 to 1994. Jim also served as a Trustee of the Winnipeg Community Chest (now the United Way), a founding Director of the Manitoba Heart Foundation, a Councillor of the Sports Marketing Council, among many others. He was awarded the Bnai Brith of Canada Humanitarian Award (1975), the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977), the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal (1992), and was the first recipient of the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba "Twice the Citizen" Award (1999). In 1949, Jim married Shirley Anne Rooper of Shamley Green, Surrey, England. Jim was a family man, immensely proud of his five children and 15 grandchildren, and he especially enjoyed his summers with them at his beloved Lake of the Woods. An enthusiastic member of the Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Club, he re-introduced sailing instruction at the club and took his turn serving as Commodore. A competitive sailor who represented Western Canada at the Olympic Trials in 1948, Jim also spearheaded the fundraising for Canadas Challenge for the Americas Cup in 1982 and 1986. Most of all, Jim loved sailing in the Yacht Club Stretch, boat rides in the "Coronado", camping trips down the lake, fishing to "catch breakfast", planting his small white pines, and watching the moon come up over the Canoe Channel. Jim was an avid sportsman who introduced his love for golfing, skiing, hunting, fishing and sailing to his children and grandchildren. Jims family is extremely grateful for the wonderful care provided by his caregivers, Darlene Roberts, Glen Vaughan and Grace Desbois. They treated him with great dignity and love, bringing comfort to his last years. In addition, our heartfelt thanks to the nursing staff of the Tuxedo Villa Nursing Home for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society of Manitoba. Following a private family service, a memorial service will be held at St. Lukes Anglican Church, 130 Nassau St. North, Winnipeg at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 20.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 20, 2004

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • Quinn used live on the corner from me me and him and Madison were friends we would hang out but not a ton. Our brothers are best friends. I did not expect this. Its hard to believe. I miss quinn. He always would joke. He was funny. I just smile. R.I.P quinn take care delilah,sierra,kane,and kyle remember he's in your heart still. And he was born a day before me. Im march 25th 2004 he's march 24th 2004 - Posted by: Lydia branch (Friends) on: Nov 16, 2015

  • Quinn used live on the corner from me. me and him and Madison were friends we would hang out but not a all the time. Our brothers are best friends. I did not expect this. Its hard to believe. I miss quinn. He always told jokes. He was funny. I just smile. R.I.P quinn take care delilah,sierra,kane,and kyle remember he's in your heart still. - Posted by: Lydia branch (Friends) on: Nov 16, 2015

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