- Listed: May 23, 2019 8:54 am
- Expires: 3307 days
In Memory Of
Joseph James Kemes
Sept 14, 1934 – May 9, 2019
Joseph James Kemes (Jim, Jimmy, James) Sept 14, 1934 – May 9, 2019, departed for his final sojourn, peacefully and without struggle, at the age of 84.
Predeceased by his father Jozsef, his mother Teresa, his brother Lazlo, his nephew Laci (all in Hungary), father-in-law Ross Miller and mother-in-law, Ada Miller (Oliver BC).
Survived by his loving wife Donna-Faye of Oliver BC, daughters Ramona (Thomas), Dana (Derek), and Tara (Kylie) all of Vancouver BC. Grandchildren Luke, Hannah and Sam of Vancouver BC.
After making the tough decision to leave Hungary during the 1956 Revolution, Jim first came to Canada from Hungary in 1957 as part of the Sopron Forestry Placement at the University of British Columbia. Initially finding work in the forestry and fishing camps in Powell River and on Haida Gwaii, he made his way to the Okanagan to pick fruit in ‘58, falling in love with the climate, vista and people — in particular Donna-Faye in 1961.
Between working in the Okanagan orchards in the summer and winter jobs in Vancouver, Jim took a course in commercial art through the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. He picked up a job in the packing house and made his permanent residence in Oliver. He spent many years supplementing his income by painting signs throughout the Okanagan and if you look closely, you will still find the odd sign in Oliver created by Jim.
With ambition and work ethic, Jim climbed his way up the ranks in the packinghouse, ultimately retiring as the General Manager in 1994. He was instrumental in leading the packinghouse and BC Tree Fruits through many changes and modernizations. Jim proudly represented the packinghouse and Canada travelling to many US cities and to countries such as China and Thailand, building relationships with customers, sharing knowledge of the fruit and best handling practices.
During his life, Jim also served on several boards, including the Okanagan Savings Credit Union, the Oliver Arts Council and the Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority. He spent many years with the local Rotary Club, and he donated artwork to various organizations for fundraisers and volunteered at SOSS with the art department.
His main hobby was creating art. In a perfect world, it would have been his career. Starting with wood inlay, he proceeded to oils, pastels, watercolours, charcoal, acrylics, ink line drawings, and eventually computer graphics. Notably, he produced a calendar every year depicting local scenery and wildlife. Jim also enjoyed growing his own herb garden, was passionate about his cactus cultivation, and cooking with peppers and paprika. He loved to BBQ, enjoyed jazz music, and debating big and small with family and friends.
In his later years, Jim was content to putter in his garden, enjoy afternoon drives through the valley with Donna-Faye and entertaining his family on the deck. Egészségedre! (Cheers! In Hungarian.)
Celebration of life will take place at 10:00 am, Saturday June 8, 2019 at the Oliver Community Centre.
Condolences and tributes may be directed to the family by visiting www.nunes-pottinger.com
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