Remembering Jim English

Jim English
James (Jim) Wesley English of Coalmont, BC died on the ninth of September 2009 at the Princeton General Hospital of natural causes. At the time of his passing he was surrounded by loved ones. Jim was born on September 22, 1924 in Fort Vermillion, AB to parents Alvin and Mary English. He was the 4th of 11 children. Jim led an extraordinary life, starting when he left home at around age 11. At age 15, at the start of the Second World War, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces (Regimental Number K85494). He later transferred to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada infantry regiment in order to serve with his brother. He was deployed as a sniper to Italy and France, and was twice wounded in combat. He also distinguished himself as a member of the First Special Services Force (“The Devil’s Brigade”). Following the war, he worked for a dairy delivering milk with a horse and wagon in Vancouver. Later Jim worked as an ironworker for Dominion Bridge Company and was a member of the Ironworkers Union Local 97. He worked on many major construction projects around BC, including the Coquihalla Pass, the Port Mann Bridge, and the Rosedale-Agassiz Bridge, to name a few. On June 17, 1958, Jim was the superintendent on the new bridge at Second Narrows when it collapsed into the Burrard Inlet, nearly killing him along with 19 of his fellow workers. After he recovered from his injuries, Jim returned to work on the rebuilding of the bridge. On March 27, 1948, Jim married the love of his life, Ruby Blanche Ready. They had two children whom they raised at their home in Port Coquitlam and acreage in Coalmont, BC. In 1972, Jim and Ruby moved to their Coalmont ranch permanently. Sadly, Ruby passed away on December 25, 2008, just 6 months after celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Jim spent much of his golden years riding horses and driving around the valley he loved so much. He was an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 56 in Princeton, BC. Friends will remember his charm and sense of humour. He will be dearly missed by his son Patrick (Mary) of Chilliwack and daughter Lynda of Coalmont, 6 grandchildren: Chrissy (Rod), Cathy (Peter), Kelly, Graig (Andrea), Tara (Carl), Cory, his great-grandchildren, Lauren, Seamus, Lucas, Madison, Logan and his step-great-grandchildren, Konrad and Scott. Jim also leaves behind many extended family members, friends, and Tom-cat & Company. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 1:00 PM at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 56 hall in Princeton. §