September 03, 1949 – August 31, 2018
James passed away on August 31, three days before his sixty ninth birthday. His death followed a recent diagnosis of lung cancer. His family is grateful that he passed in the comfort of his own home in Spruce Grove.
James was born in Smiley, Saskatchewan to Chris and Rhoda (Stansfield), who were then recent immigrants from England. He attended Walsh high school in Fort MacLeod, Alberta and graduated from Atwater High School in Atwater, Merced County, California.
He married Marjie Hamilton (daughter of Hector and Maggie) in 1972 in Fort MacLeod. They had two daughters, Lisa and Trish. The family lived in Edmonton and then Slave Lake where James established and managed the Nelson Lumber franchise in Slave Lake, and later became a shareholder the company. He was also active in the community, serving on Slave Lake town council as a young man and later volunteering with the Municipal Planning Commission for several years. After retiring from Nelson Lumber he moved with Marjie and Trish’s young family to Spruce Grove.
James is predeceased by his parents Chris and Rhoda, his wife Marjie and a brother Timothy. He is survived by Lisa (Ben Wickstrom) of Winnipeg, Trish (Kenny Riddell) of Spruce Grove, grandsons Camden and Declan, his brother Peter, his sisters Penny and Jennifer and his nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his friends, coworkers and hunting buddies (with whom he shared many epic trips into the bush) in Slave Lake, Edmonton and beyond.
James felt a profound connection to Alberta’s wilder places and was a dedicated moose hunter for decades. More recently, he owned a trapline with friends near Slave Lake and spent many of his happiest weekends there. He was also a student of history, an Oilers fan, a lover of rock n’ roll and a creative man with an inimitable approach to home design. He will long be remembered for his wide intellect and unique sense of humour.
A celebration of James’ life will be held at his home in Spruce Grove on September 29th. For details email Trish Riddell at [email protected] for event information. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Cross Cancer Institute or The Animal Rescue Committee of Slave Lake.