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James Harry Spence

September 26, 1950 ~ January 24, 2021 (age 70)

Obituary

James Spence of Calgary, AB passed away on Sunday, January 24, 2021 after a sudden illness, at the age of 70 years.

Jim was survived by Donna, his dear wife of 49 years; his daughter Christina (Tina) and her husband Colin; mother Joyce Nauss; brother David (Fran) of Truro, Nova Scotia; sister Diane Devine of Truro, Nova Scotia; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Fred and Gwen Black, of Olds, Alberta; mother-in-law Olga Black of Olds, Alberta; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father William, and his beloved baby son Richard.

Jim was born in the tiny town of Springhill, Nova Scotia.  When just a baby, he and the family moved to Ontario where his brother and sister were born. After the untimely death of his father when Jim was only 10, Joyce and the family moved back to Nova Scotia to live with Jim’s beloved Nanny Bigney and her husband Uncle Ed (his grandmother and her second husband).

Jim grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia where he loved to hang out with friends and his brother, and endlessly tease his little sister. Jim loved to read and study - especially God's Word, The Bible. He was particularly fascinated with Bible prophecy. As a young man, he could often be seen walking the streets of his hometown with glasses on and his head buried in a book as he absorbed all the information he could. That love of learning never left him.

From a young age he dedicated his life to his God, Jehovah. The ministry gave him joy, and as a young man he embarked on a special pioneer ministry work in Quebec, where he met many other spiritually-minded young people.

Although he was naturally shy, he managed to catch the eye of a dark-haired beauty, Donna. He told his friend: “She sure seems like a nice girl.” Apparently, Donna thought he was okay, too. Their love blossomed and they were married on April 3, 1971 in the old Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Truro. They lived in Truro briefly, and then moved to New Brunswick. Daughter Tina was born in 1974, making their little family of three. In late 1983, Jim, Donna and Tina made the biggest move of their lives – moving far away from the Maritimes, and taking a long train journey to Calgary, Alberta. It was a fresh start in life, with the stunning Rocky Mountains as a backdrop.

 When Tina married Colin in 1995, Jim gained not only a son, but also a best friend. When the four of them were together – Jim and Donna, and Colin and Tina – he often wanted Colin all to himself to discuss their shared interests: Bible prophecy, sports, current events, and history. Jim also enjoyed going to occasional football or hockey games here in Calgary and watched many more on TV.

After working for decades in the financial services sector, Jim had recently retired. He took his knowledge of all things financial and tried to protect family and friends from being scammed or losing out on a bad deal.

Jim was a devoted man – he tirelessly cared for Donna when her health diminished, and even right up to the final few days of his life he cared for her and loved her. He was also an excellent father. As an only child, Tina felt like Jim was the best of all beings – a Dad and a big brother all in one! They spent hours together outside, playing street hockey or throwing around a football. Best of all, he would listen to the concerns of his daughter’s young heart without judgment.

Jim’s extended family meant so much to him. He loved connecting with them, keeping in touch, and sharing laughs even when times were difficult. And boy, did Jim love to laugh! His sense of humour was one of his best attributes, and that glimmer in his eye before his laughter burst out was a wonderful thing to see.

Jim would want you all to know that he loved you. Not overly expressive in words, he was expressive through his actions – by doing his best to care for those he loved. We long for the day when we see him again, and we know we will. In fact, our arms are open wide already, just waiting to hug him until he squirms away! The hope of the resurrection provides true comfort – Jesus spoke of it at John 5:28, 29 where he promised: “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out…to a resurrection of life.” Life in a beautiful new world. No more stress, and no more pandemics.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts donations can be made at JW.org. To donate: on the homepage scroll to the bottom and click on ‘Donations.’ The entire family would like to thank all of you for your love, support, and kindness during these difficult days. We will never forget it.

The Zoom memorial for Jim Spence will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 1 pm. Please contact Tina at TinaWicklow@gmail.com for further details, and a Zoom link.

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