Obituary of Jim Harrison
James Harrison left us on August 27th after 91 joy-filled years. He leaves behind his cherished wife Ann of 64 years as well as his 3 children and 6 grandchildren: Stephen (Delphine - Isobel, James) of Aurora, Peter (Colleen - Samantha, Nicholas) of Ottawa, and Janet Hammond (Scott - Rachel, Sarah) of Raleigh, NC. Jim was a dedicated son to Steve and Minnie who were Ukrainian immigrants and he celebrated his heritage throughout his life. Along the way, Jim made many friends from his early years in Thorold and St. Catharines, to his time in Kingston, Pinehurst, Dunnville, and Vineland. His family intends to celebrate a life well-lived, with many fond memories and stories told.
Jim was a long-time coach and builder in the local sports community and was inducted into both the Thorold and St. Catharines Sports Halls of Fame. In his early years, he was captain and MVP of the Thorold high school basketball team. He not only played Senior baseball but also coached the Thorold Midget team to the Ontario Championships.
He developed the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldog Football program, coaching from 1964-1987, creating a long-standing legacy. He was also a dedicated coach to hundreds of student athletes in basketball and track for many years. Mr. Harrison was a respected Phys Ed and Health teacher to students at SWC, including AJ’s and those trying to reach their ‘X’.
Known as “Harebone” throughout the Queen’s University community across decades, Jim was an all-star captain of the Queen’s basketball team in the 1950s, and later was a football coach for the Golden Gaels, including a 1992 Vanier Cup win.
Jim was an avid golfer always trying to “get it solved”. He enjoyed over 50 years as a member of Twenty Valley Golf Club in Vineland. Together, he and Ann enjoyed winter golf excursions including time in Pinehurst, Myrtle Beach and Florida.
Whether you knew him as Jimmy, Jim, Dad, Digo, Uncle Jim (Lefty), Coach Jimmer, Sir, or Harebone, he was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, a super ‘life of the party’ storyteller, a skilled gardener, an eternal optimist, and in his later years a kind, gentle person who loved his Blue Jays and Buffalo Bills.
He will be sorely missed, and forever remembered and loved by his family, friends and others whose lives he touched.
The family would like to thank the compassionate staff at St. Peter’s Hospital in Hamilton for providing outstanding end of life care to our dear husband/father/Digo. Donations made to the hospital in honour of Jim would be welcome.
There will be a celebration of Jim’s life held at the Beacon Harborside Resort in Jordan Station, Saturday, September 23rd from 1:00 - 4:00 in the afternoon. The family will address those who have gathered at 2:00 for a few words in honour of Jim. Please feel free to wear SWC school colours - blue and gold, and football jerseys are acceptable.