MACCARTHY, James Ashton June 29, 1921-August 25, 2014 Jim passed away peacefully on August 25, 2014 after a long life, well lived. He was predeceased in 2008 by his loving and supportive wife of 61 years, Betty, by his sisters Margaret in 1923 and Jessie in 1977 and by all of his numerous in-laws. He is survived by sons Parker (Virginia) and John (Melanie), grandchildren Cameron, Alexandra, Jenelle and Clinton, brother Parker (Barbara) of White Rock and sister Sandra Heydon of Chemainus, as well as his many nieces and nephews. Born in Cuba where his parents Ashton and Dolenna managed a plantation on the Isle of Pines, his family moved to Burnaby, B.C. in 1926. There he attended school, played sports, and delivered milk for the family's small dairy. He interrupted his education at Burnaby South High School for a year to work his way around the world on a tramp steamer. Following matriculation, Jim entered the Faculty of Agriculture at UBC, was active in student affairs and earned his athletic Big Block. His education was again interrupted by World War II, when in 1942 he enlisted and served overseas as a RCAF pilot in Coastal Command. Following the war, Jim returned to UBC and graduated with a BSA in 1946. He joined B.C. Electric as a Farm Service Representative in Delta and the Fraser Valley. Jim's successful career spanned 40 years with B.C. Electric and B.C. Hydro during which time he held a number of senior executive positions including Manager of Public & Customer Relations and finally as Special Assistant to the President. He was very active in and held a number of leadership roles with numerous professional, business and community organizations. Jim and Betty moved to West Van in 1958 and were long time members of Hollyburn Country Club, where Jim served as president. Upon retirement, Jim devoted his significant energy to further volunteer service and leadership roles in environmental, community service and public advocacy organizations in West and North Vancouver, including serving many years as Chair of the Coho Society of the North Shore, which earned him the affectionate name of "Mr. Coho". He has been recognized with several prestigious awards including being named twice as West Van's Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1988 and 2003, a 2009 B.C. Provincial Community Achievement Award, a 2012 Governor General's Caring Canadian Award, a 2013 Minister of Fisheries Canada's Recreational Fisheries Award and a 2014 North Vancouver District Award of Honour. Jim was truly a people person. He will be remembered with great fondness for his many contributions to the North Shore, his enthusiasm, his smile, his great sense of humour and his unending loyalty to family and his many friends. A memorial service to celebrate Jim's life will be held on Saturday, October 4th at 2:00pm at St. David's United Church, 1528 Taylor Way, West Vancouver, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim's name to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or a charity of choice.
Published in North Shore News from Sep. 5 to Sep. 7, 2014.