Passed away suddenly at home on March 14, 2023, in his 79th year, coincidentally on Pi Day, befitting a math teacher. Beloved husband of Bette (nee Smith). Loving father of Daron (Ann-Marie) and Dan (Leah). Proud grandpa of Brendan, Kurtis, Sarah, and Connor. He was predeceased by his sister, Joan Drury (Doug), and will be sadly missed by his sister Susan Sherman (Roger), and all his nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, the Coffee crew, the Granite Curlers, and many dear friends.
Jim was born in Toronto in 1944 and moved to Dundas in 1945. He attended Dundas Central Public School and Dundas District High School. He worked at Jaggard’s News Agency throughout high school where he met Bette. They were married in 1966. In 1964 he was accepted to McMaster University and completed a Bachelor of Science in 1968. He completed his Masters in Business Administration in 1972. He was hired as a Math Teacher with the Hamilton Board of Education in 1968. He made many great life-long friends and was inspired by seeing his students succeed. He retired in 1999.
Jim was an avid curler, hockey player and coach, camper, hiker and environmentalist, and a skilled woodworker. He was a proud member and trail captain with the Bruce Trail Conservancy for more than 30 years and received awards for his work. He was enthralled by early northern explorers and mountaineers and took his dream trip down the Coppermine River in 1984. Jim was passionate about sharing experiences with his family, from camping and road trips out west and to Algonquin Park, to Camp Wanakita, attending hockey games, road trips, boat cruises and trips to Europe with Bette after retirement.
Over the last 18 years he has been following the exploits of his 4 grandchildren. He looked forward to his visits with them, a chance to teach and bond, or to watch them take on life’s challenges in school, sports or the arts. In recent years, he loved being challenged by the math problems they were trying to solve in their homework and happy to learn from the next generation. He could never get enough of watching his family succeed and take on new opportunities. He was so proud of us all.
In the last 23 years he took on the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease with the drive and strategy of a mountaineer and the curiosity of a scientist. Jim was a strong supporter of Parkinson Canada, and it was important for him to volunteer for clinical studies to support research into a cure for Parkinson’s. He was an inspiration in his courage and ability to overcome the latest challenge so he could be at the next curling event, meet up with friends, watch his grandchildren’s activities, or go on his next trip. We are grateful for all the extra quality time we had with him since his diagnosis. We thank the numerous doctors and care teams over the years who helped him navigate each challenge.
Jim was concerned for the success and happiness of those he knew, looked for any opportunity to teach, was happy to give advice on anything, and rooted for you in your battles. He taught us about perseverance and yes, the strength of stubbornness.
Friends and family are invited to Turner Family Funeral Home, 53 Main St. Dundas, on Sunday March 19 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm for a visitation. A Funeral Service will be held at 1:30 pm on Monday March 20, 2023. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Parkinson (Society of) Canada or the Bruce Trail Conservancy .
Deep condolence to the family in their loss and passing away of a great soul. May the soul RIP.
Condolences to Jim’s family. Bette sorry for your sudden loss. Will be away this weekend but will keep all of you in my prayers. Will try and connect next week. Take care of yourself.
Sincere condolences to you Bette and your family. Jim was the gentlest sweetest man and it’s been my pleasure to have gotten to know him and chat with him over film over these past few years. May all those lovely memories described in that beautiful obituary console you at this sad time.
Bette, we’re so sorry for your loss, please accept our heartfelt condolences at this time.
Bette, to you and your family we send our heartfelt condolences in the loss of Jim. May you be comforted with all your memories of Jim in the difficult days ahead. Keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers.
Don and Sandy Walker
Daron, Anne-Marie, Brendan and Curtis – Sharing in your sadness as you remember your Father and Grandfather. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
We were so sorry to hear that Jim had passed away. Such a lovely tribute to him in the Ancaster News. Our condolences to you and your family. Wishing you peace and strength in the days ahead. May the memories you hold dear be a source of comfort now and always.
Sending love to you and your family,
Sandy and Arthur Greenblatt
I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Jim Abbey but I was so touched by his obituary in the Dundas Star that I have made a donation in his memory with the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
What a wonderful Canadian and human being he clearly was and what a beautiful, inspiring live lived. With my deepest sympathies to his family.