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In the early evening of July 1, 2014, after a long and courageous battle with brain cancer, James Coverdale passed on peacefully in the loving presence of his wife and "dearest soul friend" Lynn, their beloved daughter Nina, and sister-in-law Karen.
Jim was born in Vancouver on November 17, 1950, son to Evelyn Coverdale, and grandson to Diamante "Diamond Jim" and Rosina Zarelli. Recalling his childhood Jim once wrote, "I like to remember how my Italian Grampa would light up when Louis Prima showed on the old Unitized Tele-view in the living room when I was a squirt, perched at his feet, secure under the halo of his after dinner cigar." Jim took deep pride in his Italian heritage, which in many ways helped shape the man he became - in his strong, clear moral sense, respect for tradition, love of family, sense of style, appreciation for food, and finely attuned musical and artistic sensibility. Interspersed and always present was his great appreciation of humour. Family and friends will always remember his laughter and his ability to see the irony in just about any situation.
When Jim was 19, he met Lynn Buhler, (a first year UBC science undergraduate), on a blind date to see Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. Thus began a forty-four year love story founded on a deep bedrock of mutual respect and understanding. With the support of Lynn (and with then-infant Nina in tow) Jim took a daring mid-life plunge into the School of Architecture at Carlton University. Upon graduating he applied his modernist aesthetic and impeccable design skills to projects in Vancouver for some 20 years. Jim's architectural sensibility was continuous with his deep love and profound understanding of music, a gift he generously bestowed on all who knew him, whether by sharing the latest acquisition to his infinitely expanding and eclectic music collection, or an exhilarating account of a concert he'd just attended. As past president and long- standing board member of the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Jim's vast musical knowledge, superb ear, and commitment to governance helped to inform and shape Canada's leading showcase for cutting edge music, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
Jim understood that small things often carry great significance and loved tuning others in to the "bright moments" that illuminated his days. To his many friends he was a touchstone not only on matters of taste but also on matters of right and wrong, how we should conduct ourselves, and what we should attend to in our lives. In his final years he became closely involved with the Callanish Society, which was instrumental in guiding him on his own inner path as he confronted the reality of his illness.
Those who knew Jim are invited to visit http://jcremembered.wordpress.com and share their remembrances. An Open House at the family home to honour James will be held on Saturday, July 26 from 3-5 p.m. Donations to The Callanish Society (604 732-0633) and The Coastal Jazz and Blues Society (604 872-5200 ext. 5) in James' memory will be gratefully accepted.
Walkey & Company Funeral Directors 604 738-0006
Walkey & Company Funeral Directors Ltd.
235 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 4X1
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on July 12, 2014