On Friday, October 15, 2021, James (“Jim”) McAlpine of Alvinston (Kilmartin) passed away in his 89th year at Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario with his children by his side. Predeceased by his parents Archie and Jessie McAlpine (Cran). Brother to Margaret/William Wilson and Phyllis McAlpine (1998). Husband to Isobel Margaret (Thornicroft, 1979). Beloved father to Natalie (Todd) Turner of Halifax and Roland (MaryAnn) McAlpine of Glencoe. Very proud grandpa to Joshua, Jillian, Jennah, Jack and Brad. Brother-in-law to the late Ellen/Garry Henry (Thornicroft), the late Norma/Kenneth Wilson (Thornicroft), the late John/Elizabeth Thornicroft, and uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim was a remarkable man. A graduate of the Ontario School of the Deaf in Belleville, Ontario. A member of the Deaf community but also never shied away from meeting new people, always ready with his pen and notepad to share stories about his children and grandchildren, farming, current events and having a great laugh. Jim learned about the world around him by reading, whether it was the local or national newspaper, book about local or family history, the weather, farming or something that interested him at the time, he was always reading and buying books and sharing with others. Jim was a multi-generational farmer and was proud of farming the land. He was a steward of the unique and rare Canadian Carolinian Forest located along the farm fields, with its unique deciduous trees. He would always delightfully share about a life farming with anyone Deaf or hearing. Many Canadian snowbirds head south for the winter, not so for Jim. He would “head east” in his later years to winter with his daughter and her family in Halifax. Half his luggage was filled with clothes, the other half crammed with newspaper clippings he wanted to discuss, books he found, and Munro Honey. Using the clippings to discuss the news and events was just one way that he connected deeply with his family and shared the love of reading to learn and his values in life. Trains were a big part of Jim’s life, whether it was taking a train to school in Belleville, Ontario in his youth, going to the east coast to see his family, or taking a trip across Canada with VIA Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer. He rode the train from the east coast to the west coast, and being a farmer, seeing the land across Canada brought him great joy. He even celebrated his 80th birthday at the renovated Glencoe train station. Even through his diagnosis of dementia, Jim’s love for trains and farming never left him. For many years, Jim was active in the Glencoe District Lions Club and enjoyed the friendships, meetings and fundraising activities for community betterment. A special thank you to H2-Parkwood Hospital, GBU-LHSC and to Brookside Retirement Living for the special care to Dad as he lived his final years with dementia. A struggle Dad is now free from and at peace.
To celebrate a life well-lived, the family asks that you make a donation to the Glencoe Lions Club, London Club of the Deaf or charity of choice. Dad was always sharing with others please share an act of kindness or plant a tree in his memory. Visitation will be held at Van Heck Funeral Home, 172 Symes St. Glencoe on Thursday, October 21 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. with a private family service to follow. Interment Kilmartin Cemetery. An outdoor reception will be held at the home of Roland and Mary Ann following at 3:30 p.m. Due to COVID restrictions, visitation is limited to a specific number of guests. Only those with an appointment will be allowed in. Pre-registration is required for EVERYONE. Masks and social distancing from the family and those around them is also required. Memorial donations may be forwarded to the funeral home and online condolences at www.vanheckfuneralhome.ca
“The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been, and the memories we’ve left behind.”