Passed away peacefully at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital after a brief illness.
Jim is lovingly remembered by his wife of 51 years, Beth (nee Carruthers) of Gravenhurst and his brother Don of Toronto. He was the cherished father of Cathryn (Samir Zabaneh) and Peter, both of Toronto and beloved Poppa to Michael, Nicholas and Leila Zabaneh of Toronto.
Jim was born in Owen Sound. He was educated at Leaside High School, University of Toronto-Victoria College and Osgood Law School. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1966 and was made a Life Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada in March 2016, the occasion of 50 years of membership in the Society. Jim settled in Gravenhurst in 1967, founding his own law practice, Stuart & Cruickshank, and choosing to raise his family in Muskoka which he loved so much.
In addition to his private practice, Jim served as Solicitor for the Town of Gravenhurst, was a member of the Central Ontario Judges Advisory Committee and was Federally-appointed Independent Chair of Disciplinary Hearings at two Ontario prisons. He was recognized as a sage counsel, and a trusted, tenacious and skilled lawyer. He was well respected by his clients for his wisdom, support and good judgement.
He will be remembered for his active service on numerous volunteer committees which he served tirelessly. He received a Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International and the Order of the Phoenix from the Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society. He was Past Master of the Gravenhurst Golden Rule Masonic Lodge and was elected as Trustee to the Muskoka Board of Education. He was a long-standing member of Trinity United Church in Gravenhurst.
Jim had an incredibly witty sense of humour and always enjoyed a good time whether it was dinner with family, a beer at the local pub or his annual vacations in PEI - he was just a pleasure to be around. Jim loved to watch old movies and listen to jazz, was a keen fisherman, and an avid golfer.
He loved following the NHL, CFL and NFL no more than the leagues in which family was playing. He coached son Peter in minor hockey for over 12 years and then passionately followed his grandsons' hockey careers more recently. Jim loved spending time with his three grandchildren and always welcomed them with open arms. He was vitally interested in each one's education, interests and achievements.
We will so dearly miss him, his smile, his jokes, his words of wisdom and his love.
Cremation has taken place. At Jim's request, a Celebration of Life will be held at the Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Center in Gravenhurst on Friday, April 26th, 1:00 - 4:00pm. If desired, donations in memory of Jim may be made to the Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society or South Muskoka Memorial Hospital or a charity of choice.
Friday, April 26th, 2019 1:00pm
Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Center
275 Steamship Bay Rd GRAVENHURST, ON P1P 1Z9