Alton, James

On June 10, 2020 James Ronald Alton, resident of Hogarth Riverside Manor the last two years, figured it was time to join Ronnie (Rohonalda Jean Henry) his wife of 64 years. She had gone on ahead of him in 2011 to check things out. He wanted to give her plenty of time so she wouldn’t feel pressured. Also that would give her plenty of time to forgive him any follies he had committed. (Of which he was truly sorry, he would like to add!)
He leaves behind daughters, Sherry (Al) & Jo; Sons Jamie (Hortensa) & Tim.
Also numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren & great-great grandchildren.
Gone ahead (as mentioned) his wife Rohonalda Jean Henry; son Larry (Carol); & daughter Beth (Cliff).
He was the last of his immediate family of two brothers & three sisters.
Born in Fort Frances, Ont. in 1925, he left home early in 1942 & worked at Canadian Car, Fort William, building fighter planes for the RAF, Hawker Hurricanes & Curtis Hell Divers.
In 1943 he joined the Royal Canadian Airforce, serving in Canada & the U.K. as a bomber gunner until 1945 when the war ended.
He returned to Fort Frances, meeting Rohonalda, a fire was ignited, & they married in 1947. Three kids later about 1952-3 they moved to Fort William to work for Ont. Hydro.
In the mid 1950’s Rohonalda had an unfortunate heated verbal exchange with their landlady & they quickly ( & probably astonishingly) found themselves owners of a near abandoned farm outside Port Arthur with no running water, inside plumbing, complete with collapsing barn & out buildings & two seat outhouse. We kids were delighted. Mom & Dad, maybe not so much. It was spring (fortunately) when they moved in with five kids & a baby soon to come.
We all survived and Dad & Mom turned it all into a working mixed farm. There wasn’t much money but we ate well! It was a credit to them both & I think Dad was especially proud of the blue ribbons he won at the CLE for his prize Hereford cows.
Somehow during this busy time he managed to serve on the local school board & 4H, which I think meant a lot to him.
He opted for early retirement when Ont. Hydro made him an offer he could not refuse. So they eventually moved to the Okanagan where he thought he could golf (a long time passion) most of the year, which of course you can (usually). The first winter, 2-3 feet of snow fell & stayed for months with a foot of ice on the lake. Two years was enough & they moved back to N.W. Ontario, living in both Fort Frances & Thunder Bay.
This was also a nomadic time of frequent highballing road trips to the West Coast, Alberta & Florida accompanied by their various dogs, visiting children, friends & relatives.
Now that he’s gone, I like to think he’s out there with a restored mind & body of his youth, blasting on a heavenly ship from one end of the universe to the next, accompanied by the sounds of big band music. Maybe even with Glenn Miller & Benny Goodman in the back seat. Dad did have a good ear for music.
I’m sure if you run into him, though, he’ll have time to stop & enjoy a cold one, He’s buying!!
There will be no service.