Walter James (Jim) TAYLOR

October 28, 1946 – January 23, 2008

Jim Taylor was a man who touched many people. Rarely do we meet an individual who had the conviction and the tenacity that Jim showed, both in fighting injustices and then in fighting for his life.

As a boy, Jim was the happiest when he was in nature and working with animals. Hertel’s Zoo was a place for Jim to feel good about his capabilities and to feed his soul. Jim’s boyhood was short, though, and Jim had to become an adult at an early age.

In his early twenties, he married Irene. They had two children, Michael and Lisa. As a family they liked camping, and took pride in their home, and in such things as gardening and raising chickens. With the knowledge he had, he always did his best with his family. To Jim, honesty was one of the most important attributes. He recently, with great pride, told a friend how honest his son Michael is. That is high praise, indeed!

Jim was a very hard worker and always tried to better himself. Learning new things always appealed to him, and in his work life he received awards for his commitment to, and the quality of, his work. He always did his best and worked hard, with the result that he developed a wide range of knowledge, skills and abilities.

About twelve years ago, Jim delved into his ancestry, and discovered his Métis heritage. He embraced this heritage wholeheartedly and passionately. It changed his path in life, and because of it he became a better man. He loved Powwows, his drum group, carving and sweats, dancing and music. These things, and all the other things that came with this heritage, affected him at the very core of his being. They are now part of his legacy.

In the latter stages of his life, Jim worked tirelessly to obtain custody of his grandson, Devin, and to give him a better life. Jim stepped up to the plate when it most counted, and devoted his life to raising this wonderful, small boy.

Devin became his primary focus, his passion spurred by love. His love and commitment were beyond compare. In order to give Devin the best life possible, Jim decided to move to Clearwater, near his sister Chris. This was a good move and Jim and Devin developed and cultivated many warm, loving friendships and special relationships.

Generous with his energy and knowledge, Jim always had time for friends. Even when he was most ill and in hospital, his generosity of spirit showed through. With the aid of a friend, dream catchers and gifts were made for the nursing staff.

Involvement in the Baha’i faith has been a great comfort to Jim. He found solace in its teachings, and in all the friends with whom he shared it. It was with the help of these friends that Jim was better able to face the darkest days of his illness. In the last six months, many people have gathered around to honour his life and help him through his illness. For this Jim was very grateful.

Jim suffered beyond comprehension from his illness, but he is now pain free and in peace. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross described this peace in “The Wheel of Life”. She wrote:

When we have passed the tests we were sent to Earth to learn, we are allowed to graduate. We are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul the way a cocoon encloses the butterfly, and when the time is right we can let go of it. Then we will be free of pain, free of fears and free of worries…free as a butterfly returning home to God…which is a place where we are never alone, where we continue to grow and to sing and to dance, where we are with those we loved, and where we are surrounded with more love than we can ever imagine.

Jim lost a heroic battle with cancer, but he was a Warrior to the very end. We have been touched with the privilege of his presence in our lives. His essence will remain with all those who encountered him. He has Graduated with Honours!!

A Memorial Service for Jim Taylor will take place on Monday, Jan. 28, 2008 at 1 p.m. in the chapel at North Thompson Funeral Services. There will be a pot luck reception afterwards, to which all are invited. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Jim Taylor’s memory to the Kelmucw Family Sharing Center in Clearwater, telephone 250-674-2115, would be appreciated.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to North Thompson Funeral Services, Barriere and Clearwater, BC, Telephone: 1-877-674-3030.

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