PALMER, James S., C.M., A.O.E., Q.C., LL.D
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August 29, 1928 - August 27, 2013
Jim Palmer died peacefully at home on Tuesday morning, August 27, 2013.
Jim was born on Prince Edward Island, a direct descendant from one of the Fathers of Confederation. Holding true to his roots, Jim loved this country from East to West and showed it through his involvement in politics, education and the arts.
Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in 1948 and his LLB from Dalhousie University in 1952. He then married his sweetheart, Barbara who he never stopped loving since their first meeting in the elementary school playground in Charlottetown. Jim and Barbara moved to Calgary in 1952. In 1955 he joined Burnet Duckworth, adding his name to the firm when he became a partner the following year. This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knew Jim, but he loved his work and all the places it took him in life. Like his mentor, Frank Burnet, Jim went to the office until his last days as Chair Emeritus of Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP.
Jim was a leader in business and international law as well as tax and was instrumental in the development of the oil and gas industry in Alberta, through his service as a governmental advisor for many years. With his interest in tax, Jim was a former Governor and Chair of the Canadian Tax Foundation and was its first Chair from Western Canada. He was former Chair of Telus Corporation and served as a Director of Magellan Aerospace Corporation, Canadian Natural Resources Limited and many others.
Jim was exceptionally generous in every aspect of his life - his family, friends and community. Jim became a leader in philanthropy, particularly in the areas of education, the arts and social service groups. He and Barbara enjoyed the ballet and symphony and together championed many charitable organizations.
Jim's contributions to Alberta and Canada have been recognized with many honours and awards; among them, he became a Member of the Order of Canada, was inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame and received the Weldon Award from Dalhousie Law School for unselfish public service.
There was another side to Jim. He was equally passionate about his love for hiking and skiing in the Rockies; sailing and swimming off PEI, and many other family "adventures" - about which each of his daughters has a story to tell. Jim was a voracious reader, to the point where he created his own personal library at home; Dewey decimal system and all.
Even though he showed such discipline in his life, his family can attest that he did have some weaknesses. He was not known for his sense of direction and peanuts and ice cream always got the better of him.
Jim had an amazing spirit and tremendous optimism and persevered to meet all that came his way. He never slowed down and had plans for every moment of every day. Jim was a mentor to many. He always looked to the future, encouraged people to jump in, get involved and follow their dreams.
Jim started each day the same - impeccably dressed and holding true to his No. 1 rule for a bright future: "Every morning the phone rings and anything can happen"
… and Oh, the Places You'll Go! (Dr. Seuss)
Jim leaves close family and many great friends around the world. He is survived by his wife Barbara, and their four daughters, Valerie (Gary), Noelle, Fraley Jane (Chris), Sarah (Tom); his six grandchildren, Oliver, Jarrod, Emma, Liam, Thea and John; his brother-in-law Gordon Quigley and Gordon's daughter-in-law Shawna and granddaughter Meagan; his niece Katherine Wright and his nephews, Hugh Wright and David Quigley. Jim was predeceased by his sister Suzanne Wright, her husband Peter Wright, his sister-in-law Shirley Quigley; and his nephew Brent Quigley.
A special thanks to Dr. Caine, Dr. McPhee, Dr. Chee, Dr. Traboulsi and to the many others who provided such special care for him.
Funeral Service will be held at Christ Church (3602 - 8 Street S.W.) on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please give in a way that contributes to the education of others.
Published in The Calgary Herald from Aug. 30 to Aug. 31, 2013