March 28, 1945 – August 19, 2015
Bull, James “Jim” Arthur – Today is a sad day as we are forced to say goodbye to a great man. On the night of August 19th, Jim passed away after a three week battle after being overwhelmed by a post-surgery infection. Jim fought this with his characteristic grace and integrity and in the final moments listened to the words of Robert Service’s “The Cremation of Sam McGee”- a poem he had committed to memory read to him by his son Alexander. He leaves behind his partner in love, life and adventures, Frances, his immediate family who include his daughter-in-law Nicole, his sister Barbara/Lorne, his brother Robert/Marilyn and many nieces and nephews. His extended family included many close friends in the Greater Hamilton community and abroad. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, schoolmates and reformed trouble makers from McMaster University, Canada’s best and brightest from the Canada Center for Inland Waters, mad-men with brooms at the Granite Curling club in Dundas and finally the welcoming and graceful crew of the championship winning sailboat “Subito”.
Those who had the good fortune to know and love Jim should take comfort that he parted on his own terms and be assured that when we all meet him again, he’ll have your favorite drink ready, the BBQ fired up, and some random renovation project partially completed.
As per his wishes, Jim will be cremated and laid to rest with a park view. While he was far too modest for any form of self-congratulations, there are plans in the works for a celebration of his life. This is tentatively scheduled for late September at a venue in the Hamilton area. Please reach out to the family via e-mail and we’ll get you the specifics.
So sorry to read of Jim’s passing this morning. He was a wonderful man and you and Alexander will miss him a lot. Thinking of you at this time. Take care. Anne
Dear Frances and family. So sad to hear of Jim’s sudden passing. Jim was a true gentleman and always fun to curl with. I am sure you have many wonderful memories to think of at this difficult time.
One of the “madmen with brooms.” Lyle Gauley
I have only known Jim for a few years through the Granite CC. It was always a pleasure to curl against him or with him and he always had an infectious smile which made every ones day better. We both had a keen interest in doing projects around the house and had many great discussions on the latest of these.
My deepest condolences to Frances and the family. I am better for having known him.
Dear Frances & Family,
Words can’t describe how saddened we are to hear about Jim’s passing.
I have many fond memories of Jim while Alex and I were growing up. Your family has lost a truly wonderful person.
If there is anything we can do during this especially difficult time, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Your family is in our thoughts.
Barrie, Chris, Laura & Holly
We are truly saddened by Jim’s sudden passing! We have had the wonderful pleasures of spending time with you both at curling, around the table, and many times with Jim on Subito. We have always considered ourselves so lucky to have experienced Jim’s warmth and generosity of spirit! His loyalty to you , family and his friends, has always been such a hallmark of his personality. Our sympathies to you, Alexander and Nicole are heartfelt, and we hope that all of your warm family memories, along with the love of friends, will help to sustain you at this very sad time. Our thoughts are with you and we will be honoured to attend the celebration of Jim’s life. We will truly miss him!
Sincerely, Robert and Susan Ireland
Dear Fran and family. Our most sincere condolences for Jim’s passing. Having known Jim since our years at Mac, he has always been someone who brightened your day. It’s not the least bit surprising that so many of us think so fondly of times with Jim…and will continue to do so.
Dear Frances and Family. I am very sad to hear that Jim has passed. He was such a great friend to me for over 35 years at CCIW and I enjoyed every minute chatting and joking with him. He will always be in my memory. Deepest condolences to you Francis, Alexander and your family.
Marlene and Bill
Dear Frances and Alexander and extended family:
So sorry to hear that Jim has passed away. He was a great guy, always had a quip and ready smile. He will be missed by all those who knew him. A donation in Jim’s memory will be made to the Alumni Association at McMaster University.
Sincerely, Les Jarrett
We are very sad to learn of Jim’s passing. We have good memories of construction discussions while we were building our homes in Dundas. Our thoughts are with you.
Marilyn and Darvin
Dear France’s: I am so sorry for your loss. I did’t know Jim all that well but did enjoy curling with him when the Day Ladies played with the Masters. My heart goes out to you and your family. Suzanne
Frances: We’re very sorry to hear about Jim’s passing. He was a long-time friend and colleague at the Canada Centre and that continued after retirement at our group dinners and the retirees’ coffee club. He’ll certainly be missed. All the best to you and Alexander in dealing with your loss.
Norm and Frances Rukavina
Dear Frances, Alex & Nicole,
This is a very sad day for our entire family. Having had the good fortune to live directly beside Jim and Frances for the past 22 years, words can’t begin to express the way we feel. We are reminded, however, of the kind spirit and positive energy that flowed from Jim every day. Quick to smile and laugh, always happy, he made your day just by sharing a few minutes with you. He was so generous with his mechanical and problem solving abilities, and loved to assist those who weren’t blessed with such skills. He was a great listener, and always enjoyed a good conversation. We will never forget Jim and feel blessed to have had him in our lives.
The Kiely Family – Paul, Kelly, Stephanie and Melissa
My deepest heartfelt condolences to Frances and Alexander on the loss of a very special man. I will always remember Jim with great fondness as a wonderful person to work for and with during his years at CCIW. He will not be forgotten, but rather, remembered with much respect. My sympathy to you all.
I was very sorry to read on Saturday, of Jim’s passing. After reading his obituary, I am sorry that I hadn’t had the opportunity to meet him. Please accept my sincere condolences.
So sorry to hear about Jim,was shocked,had no idea he was ill.My condolences to you,Alexander,Nicole,& Family.Cherish the memories.Jim always had a wonderful smile for everyone.Ross,Cindy.Mark,Kelly.Aron,Andrea,send thier condolences,as well as my mom.Thinking of you at this sad time.
Mary Anne Bull.
Dear Frances and Alexander, we were so shocked to hear of Jim’s passing, even though we knew he had gone through such serious surgery – we always thought we would soon be seeing him at the door again, always ready for a chat and a drink. John says he many times got him out of trouble with electrical problems, always had good advice for any renovations we were tackling. We are so sorry, and we will miss him very much. Thinking of you both, please call on us for help if you need us. With our best wishes, Judy and John
We are very sorry to hear about Jim and feel sad for you, your son and family.
We did not know he was ill, so it was shocking to read of his sudden passing – he always looked healthy and enjoying life. Jim was a very nice and helpful man. When he spoke it reflected his love of his family and his special place on Crooks Hollow. Sarie and Jonathan are also sorry for your loss.
We have spoken to Grant and he asked to be included in sending his deep regrets to you and Alexander in the loss of his good friend and neighbour “Jimmy” since he does not use the internet. He has many good memories of their times together over the past decades here and will miss Jim.
Wishing you peace at this time. Jeff and Helen and Grant.
East End Brian and Fred are so sorry to hear of Jims passing. Lots of hugs going your way Frances.
We were very sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was a great guy to curl with and we will truly miss him. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Richard and Marion Brooks
In memory of Jim Bull
Dear Barbara and Bobbie
My wife and I (Bruce and Donna Mitchell), are retired and live near Long Point on Lake Erie. I continue to pick up the Spectator very day, so I was very saddened to see of Jim’s passing. I too was in hospital for three week as with infection after a throat cancer operation, but was luckier then Jim.
I saw him a few times after university, twice is Greenville, once with your mom at a show, and of course at Cam’s ‘visitation. He was always smiling and laughing. That was Jim! I still remember as a kid, us getting into trouble:when used to climb the roof of your Sherman Ave house (to the peak). What for? Because it was there! Did it a few times until your mother caught us and gave us heck! We always climbed the huge tree in your back yard, to the ‘crows nest. Didn’t get heck for that. Once too I recall, we thought we’d dig to China in your driveway. I think we got about three feet down, then looked over the edge of the mountain to see how much further we had to go. Abandoned!
I know Jim was well respected at “Inland” as I had a friend there too (his wife worked with me).
His picture (in the paper), was impressive and much more dignified than when we were awkward kids.
Anyhow, sympathies with you and familie(s). Keep me informed. I can’t speak anymore because of my (now gone) throat cancer, but I would be appreciative of an invite to the memorial. (P.S.: I really appreciated your presence at Cam’s ‘visitation. What a great surprise and nice gesture. Thank you!)
Bruce Mitchell (and Donna)
Dear Frances and Family:
I was very saddened to learn of Jim’s passing last week. I had the pleasure of working with Jim at CCIW since I was a summer student coming up through the ranks. Jim always treated everyone with respect and dignity and will be missed both near and far. My thoughts are with you and your family in this time of sadness.
Dear Frances and Family
It is with great sorrow that we relay our condolences and thoughts to you and the family at this time. I (Bob) had the opportunity to work with Jim for the majority of my career here at CCIW. Jim originally hired me to work on the instrumentation side of the Engineering Section and I did not consider him as my boss, but a great co-worker and friend. We had many good times together and after his retirement, I was pleased to see Jim at various outings outside of work and we had great discussions. It is a somber day here in Engineering and he will be missed by all.
Take Care, you are in our thoughts, Bob and Janet
Dear Frances and Family, We are so sorry to learn of Jim’s passing. He helped Murray with many projects at CCIW and even brought Christel some Sweet Woodruff for her garden. Jim was always an affirmative positive person but not one to avoid a contrary view if warranted. He was a joy to be associated with and will be missed.
Dear Fran, Very saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. Our thoughts are with you and Alexander. Thankful that we had the opportunity to catch up with Jim and you here in December and again at the Haiti event in May.
Bernice and Ivan
To Jim’s family,
Sorry to learn of Jim’s passing. I did not work directly with Jim on a regular basis but often enjoyed some very entertaining conversations with CCIW. He was a good man with a big heart and I feel honoured to have known him.
With sympathy ….. Jacqui Young
I’m very much saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. My heart goes out to his dear family and friends. Such a kind and respectable man.
Canada Center for Inland Waters.
Let me add this to the telephone message I left for you earlier today (Monday). Jim was a valued friend and colleague over many years. He was always cheerful, up-beat, and in all respects, a great guy to be around. Tordis and I will miss him and we send you, Frances and Alexander, our most sincere condolences over your loss.
I first met Jim at McMaster University and had the pleasure to get to know him at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in 1975. He was a wonderful kind human being and I will always have memories of Jim. I was shocked and saddened when I heard of his passing through Norm Rukavina’s Retirees Newsletter. My thoughts and prayers go out to Frances and family.
Dear Fran and Alexander,
My sincere and deep condolences to you. My recent memories of Jim are of an incredibly kind man with a generous spirit.
I hired Jim as a summer student in 1970. 45 years as a valued co-worker and friend! Frances, Jim, Penny and I together raised our children and shared many, many adventures. Jim and Frances visited us here in North Saanich in May of this year, enthusiastic participants as ever, with nothing to suggest what was to come so soon. But that’s how it goes and Penny and I, while grieving his death, are immensely grateful to have had such a gracious and thoughtful friend. It is good to see so many deeply felt tributes to this good man on this site.
On June 19, while picnicking aboard our sailboat, I thought of Jim and these words came to me (the wine alluded to was a gift from Jim – left behind in May)
AN OFFERING (for Jim Bull)””
From my glass, I pour some wine into the sea,
wine from the earth and sun,
that with time, skill and other life
reveals the spirit dwelling in all things.
The sea, from which our elements are drawn,
waits for their return, over and over again.
I do this to acknowledge my acceptance
of all that life has brought and will bring to us,
sentient fragments of that greatness
we are honoured to perceive.
Penny joins me in this note of condolence, wishing safe passage to Frances, Jim’s family and to all the many people who mourn Jim’s passing.
Just opened the CCIW retirees newsletter and got the news. This is very sad news indeed. Jim and Farrell are responsible for some great memories in my life, over a long period of time. Two good friends and colleagues.
Please include us in any plans to celebrate his life.
I may be able to dredge up some embarrassing photos from Mac days!
In the meantime, know that we will share in your grief.
Our sincerest condolences to you Frances, Alexander and Nicole.
We remember Jim for that wonderful smile, firm handshake and such a warm and welcoming presence.
Thank you Frances for sharing Jim with us.
Joe and Terry
Fran and Alexander.
We were saddened to hear about Jim. It was a real shocker. I first met and worked with Jim in 1969 when he was a summer student with Farrell Boyce and Bill Moody. Great guy to work with and always had time for some interesting conversation. He will be deeply missed.
Dear Frances and family.
August 25, 2015
I am very sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I knew Jim from the Centre and always enjoyed his personality. He was a fine and considerate man. We were all fortunate to have Jim pass thru our hearts.
Frances, you will have your memories to comfort you.
Take care Esther Rae
We were shocked to hear of Jim’s unexpected death. As both Jim and I lived on the edge of Greensville, when an occasional lift to work at CCIW was needed, he would always help out. Memorable was the time when he picked me up in an aged Accord, where I sat in the back seat (like Miss Daisy!) because it was missing the front passenger seat. He was always up-beat, and a great and funny conversationalist, particularly when commiserating over the arcane bureaucratic practices we experienced in Environment Canada.
The world really needs many more like Jim Bull. He left us far too early. Our condolences to Jim’s family and legion of friends.
Dear Frances and Alexander,
We are very saddened by Jim’s passing. He was the first person to greet us upon our arrival at CCIW and
became our mentor when comes to the Canadian way of life. It would be really hard to adjust without Jim’s
and your, Frances, advice.
Our thoughts are with you,
Iwona and Irek with Wojtek and Kasia
Frances and Alex, my deepest condolences on Jim’s passing. I heard the sad news from my parents last week and haven’t stopped thinking about him and the two of you. Our family will deeply miss Jim’s presence in our lives.
My thoughts are with you. Liz
Jim’s sudden passing came as sad news. He was my manager for quite a long time. Beside his serious engineering side he enjoyed humorous and sometimes elaborate presentations that Engineering Services would undertake on some special occasions, like retirements. He would actively support and cheer on such endeavors. In fact he expressed several times that his own retirement was the best one.
Our deepest sympathy to Francis, Alex and Nicole.
Jackie and George (Juraj) Dolanjski
Dear Frances and family:
It was a shock to hear of Jim’s leaving us. He was my manager for many years and was very kind and supportive.
I looked forward to our occasional meetings at Norm’s coffee clatch or the annual Support Services’ Christmas party.
He genuinely cared for people and was an excellent communicator.
I too love the poem, :”The Cremation of Sam McGee.” In fact I recently passed a copy to a priest who tended our church temporarily over last winter. He was from the southern USA, but not Plumtree Tennessee.
I am sorry for your loss. He will be missed by all of us.
I ran into Jim a few months ago while having coffee at Timmy’s and as always be the gracious guy he is, took the time to sit down to catch up with me. We had a great conversation about our retirements and his adventures out west visiting Farrell and Penny in Sanaachton. I am deeply saddened by this news and wish to give my condolences to his family, close friends and coworkers. He was without doubt one of the most genuine and kind individuals I’ve met while working at the Centre. He will be truly missed by all.
Frances, Alexander, please accept my sympathy.
It was with surprise and sadness that I learned of Jim’s passing. In my mind’s eye, I can still see Jim sauntering down the halls of CCIW. I see him sitting at his desk collating work orders or being with him and colleagues at ‘our’ coffee table discussing Bre-X shares, the state-of-the world, or just nothing and everything. I still hear his infectious chuckle relieving a dull day.
Jim was a true professional. As a client and later as my manager, Jim demanded that our engineering hardware and data meet all objectives, yet he did so with grace and humanity. He made it all look so easy. After he retired and I took over as manager for a while, I came to appreciate the magic act he did-juggling the often competing demands of clients, senior management and staff. Amongst us, he was sometimes called “Gentleman Jim”, but there was a good reason- he was indeed a gentleman.
Adieu, Jim, Je vous salue. You will be missed.
Frances, Alexander & extended family
What a shock to us on our arrival home from an extended trip to Newfoundland to read of Jim’s passing in Norm’s retirees newsletter. Our friendship dates back to 1969/70 when Farrell hired Jim as a summer student. That work relationship continued to 1991 when I retired, but the friendship never ended. Pat & I will always remember Jim’s thoughtfulness for others. When my parents passed away, one day apart, he & Pat Healey took the time to come and show their sincere sympathy for our loss. We will truly miss him.
May God give you peace as you deal with your loss.
Bill & Pat Moody
I wept with shock and sadness when I heard from Farrell of the death of my dear friend Jim. I empathize with your sudden loss of this loving and stalwart companion from your life. I have always been pleased and proud to share times of work and leisure with you both and to have you as friends of long standing. Your visit here in Perth and our picnic on the Blue Goose last summer will be a cherished memory among the many that I hold. Jim was just a great guy to have around, enthusiastic partner in any adventure, a real conversationalist, the world and I are happy to have had his company and sad to see him go off on his last great adventure. Please accept our condolence to you and Alexander and partner at this time and please call for support at any time.
Sincerely, Frank Roy & Judy Buehler
We were very saddened to hear about Jim’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad and difficult time. ‘Mad people with brooms’……Lorna & Larry Howarth
We met Jim as a soccer parent in Dundas when our son and Alex played together. Mrs. Bull taught our sons Nicolai and Marcus at Greensville Elementary and we owe the restoration of our front lawn to the kindness of Jim when he loaned us his plow and harrow to pull behind my garden tractor.
Fondly remembered, Hans and Christa Schlechta
So sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Deep condolences to both Frances and Alexander.
Fran I was so shocked to hear of Jim’s passing. I cannot believe how quickly life can be altered. When Barb called me I was totally stunned. My thoughts have/are with you and Alexander.
I am very sad today as I unpack the old O’Day Sailboat after 13 days camping on a beach in Quebec with Dads and their Kids. My 2nd Dad, Our Family’s cherished buddy and my Dad’s best friend , Jim Bull, died last week. My wife and family kept it from me to spare me tears while out on my own family/friend adventures. Jim and Fran, together with my parents bought a chunk of land up on Woods Bay (South of Parry Sound) in 1969 and promptly my Dad bought the blue O’Day Sailboat. Our families would spend 7-10 days on the property every summer doing all the same outdoors stuff that we do with our kids. It was always the highlight of my childhood summers. Jim and Fran are/were like a second set of parents for me and my sister, Lyse. We did EVERYTHING with those guys. Jim was the most solid “winger” that a guy could ever wish for. His word was his word. Need a hand or some expertise… call Jim. Need a “gamer” to go on an outdoor adventure… call Jim. Enjoy flowers on your birthday (Mum), along came Jim with a lovely bouquet! I loved being around when my Dad and Jim tackled projects because my Dad was always so happy around him and he made me happy too. I always wanted to do Jim proud. He will be missed hard.
Big Hugs Jim, and of course some for Fran and Alexander too.
Frances, so sorry to hear of Jim’s untimely passing. Steve and I are thinking of you at this time. Wendy
Francis: we were so saddened to hear about Jim’s death. Mike Hannigan was telling me he just talked to Jim on the phone a few weeks ago. We will keep the good memories and laughs we shared – Burn’s Suppers just for one example. Jim was a quiet, thoughtful, man, very proud of his family. A fitting tribute to all his accomplishments and ways in the obit. (A salute to a fine man). We will keep you in thoughts and prayers.
Edith and John
Dear Frances and Family,
It was a tremendous shock to suddenly learn of Jim’s passing. While a very sad reality, it brings to mind many pleasant memories of time spent with one of the most congenial, and sincere people we have had the good fortune to know as a colleague and friend.
Our warmest condolences,
Liz & Ken
Dear Frances and Alexander,
Klaus and I were saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. It hardly seems possible that his energy and enthusiasm for life and people are now stilled. We remember him as a valued colleague, mentor and friend.
Our sympathy and best wishes are with you at this difficult time.
Dianne & Klaus
Dear Frances, I was shocked and so saddened to hear of Jim’s passing when I returned home from my trip. I will always remember him working with us out in the gardens and how he enjoyed tea with us when we took a break from our work. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Rosanne
I was truly shocked and saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. I remember him as a kind and cheerful man, ready to help with engineering projects when needed.
My most sincere condolences to Jim’s entire family.
My thoughts are with you Frances, Alex and Nicole. I was shocked and saddened to hear of Jim’s death. Frances, I am so glad you, Jim and I had that recent chat on Crooks’ Hollow.
It reminded me of the always welcoming Jim even though I drifted far from Crooks’ Hollow in my adulthood. He always recognized me and had words of interest and encouragement.
I always enjoyed babysitting and doing yard or other work around the Bull household in my childhood. Those fireworks in the backyard were always lots of fun too. Jim was such an integral part of the Crooks’ Hollow community. His water testing at Morden’s Pond was appreciated, likely saving\us Purnell kids with some scary bacterial infection.