It is with great sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Jim Gartshore on November 5, 2023, while surrounded by his loving family.
Jim was born to James and Renee Gartshore (nee Evans) on July 22, 1954, in Fort Frances, Ontario. He is survived by his wife Maureen, and his children Jennifer, Stephanie (David), and Amy (Shannon); he is also survived by sisters Sheryl (Roy) Rawn, Jeanne (Bob) Kyryluk and brother Patrick (Sue) Gartshore; his brothers-in-law Barry (Patricia) Anderson, Brian (Nancy) Anderson; and his sister-in-law Carla (Dale) Hallquist. Jim also leaves a treasure trove of fun memories for his grandchildren Julia and Hayley Webster, Olivia and Ethan Sionit, and Edison Gartshore, who will dearly miss their Papa. Uncle Jim also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews who loved his “Dad” jokes and caring nature. He also had many extended family members and special lifelong friends who will miss him dearly.
He was predeceased by his parents James and Renee Gartshore; and other family members. We take comfort knowing that Jim has been warmly reunited with his parents-in-law Gus and Doris Anderson.
Jim met the love of his life Maureen in high school and they were inseparable. In order to earn enough money to travel to see Maureen, Jim played bass guitar in a band called Marty and the Masters. He also enjoyed his years with his “band boys” in their band Mudshark. Ever the professional, Jim trained to be an Electrical Engineer at the University of Manitoba and in 1977 began his career at Boise Cascade. He then progressed to be Maintenance Manager, and eventually earned the position of General Manager at the Abitibi Consolidated Pulp and Paper Mill in Fort Frances. During his tenure, he was extremely proud to join his employees in achieving the accomplishment of having the safest paper mill in Canada. In 2000, he won the Abitibi CEO award for the ‘Overall Best Mill’ in the company.
In 2002, Jim was promoted to Vice President of Energy, Engineering, and Continuous Improvement requiring his family to relocate to Montreal, which gave him the opportunity to enjoy the home games of his favourite hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens. Jim and the family then relocated to Whitby, Ontario, where he was responsible for the creation and leadership of H2O Power, a standalone hydroelectric renewable energy company. Under his caring leadership the company grew as a successful business with Jim retiring in August of 2022 as the well-respected President and CEO of H20 Power. We know his time with H2O Power was among his proudest achievements in his professional career; it culminated in being the 2023 recipient of the R.R. Dodokin Award from the Ontario Water Association, recognizing the outstanding contribution of an individual to the advancement of water power in Ontario.
Jim’s natural leadership extended beyond his family and career into the communities he resided in. He was devoted to his church, helping with Sunday School and assisting with the Church Council in a variety of positions. Jim always had an interest and concern for healthcare in Fort Frances and served on the hospital board for several years. In his quiet and unassuming way, he acted as a representative of his company and rallied support of local industry to help develop the Regional Surgical Network and as one of the founding members of the Recruitment Committee to welcome new physicians to Fort Frances, with the goal of stabilizing medical and surgical care in the community and district.
Jim was a gentle caring soul and a devoted and incredible husband of almost 50 years to Maureen. Moe and Jimbo were a perfect team; best friends throughout life and were each other’s cheerleader throughout their professional careers, parenthood and through all of life’s challenges. He was an incredible father, who was fully hands-on ahead of his time. Jim loved his three girls deeply, tirelessly shuttling them to lessons, helping with homework and projects, and was especially proud of the women they are today.
As “Papa” to his five special grandkids, he cannonballed into the pool, blasted the Beatles, made Teddy Bear pancakes, held his own in Pokemon battles, hosted innumerable sleepovers with too many treats and in all activities provided an endless source of uncontrollable giggles.
To our family, this is an immeasurable loss. We will miss his passion for classic rock, watching him agonize over another loss of his beloved Minnesota Vikings, lining up his classic car models, his trialing of new recipes for the family to enjoy, and hearing him jam on his bass and inspiring his Grandchildren to learn the love of music. We will miss his quick wit, and his ability to build anything, fix anything and to lighten our hearts with his humour and steady guidance.
A memorial service was held Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. at the Oshawa Funeral Home in Oshawa, Ontario. An additional Celebration of Life will be held in Fort Frances at a later date.
If friends so desire, in memoriam donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
We all wanted more time with Jim, but we recognize how fortunate we are to have had him in our lives. His lasting legacy lives on through his family and friends, and extends to individuals both known and unknown to us. We have been humbled and astounded by the light and energy he leaves behind in this world.
I love you Jim, always and forever. I will wait patiently until I can hold your hand again. – Moe.
We love you Dad, and will miss you always. Thank you for loving us, for all of your support and guidance, and for the endless happy memories. – Your darling daughters.
We love you Papa, and will miss all of our fun times and adventures. We will hold you in our hearts until we see you again. – Your adoring grandchildren.
PS: Watch for our red balloons.