BALKWILL, James Gibson (Jim)

Jim Balkwill

James Gibson (Jim) Balkwill passed away suddenly at home in Trochu, Alberta on September 16, 2019 at the age of 88 years. Jim was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on May 21, 1931 to James Hessie Balkwill and Olive Cavaghan. Six months later the family moved to Calgary. Jim spent his early years in the community of Rosedale and attended Calgary Normal School and Balmoral School. The Balkwill family moved to Trochu in 1944 where Jim attended Trochu Valley School and made many lifelong friends. After high school, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pharmacist. He apprenticed under his dad for two years before attending the University of Alberta School of Pharmacy. Jim graduated in 1955 with a BSc. Pharmacy. The Class of ‘55 was a close group that continued to have many reunions during the following 60 years. After university, Jim joined the reserves. During this time, he spent six months stationed in Soest, Germany with the Second Canadian Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. Upon his return from Europe, Jim worked with his dad at Balkwill Pharmacy. Jim was introduced to the love of his life, pharmacist Grace Miller, by his brother and sister-in-law. Jim and Grace married on June 29,1963 and made their home in Trochu where they raised two daughters. Jim and Grace were partners in both love and business. In 1967, they purchased the drug store from Jim’s mother and renamed it Balkwill Pharmacy Ltd. In the same year, they also purchased the local jewellery store. They operated James Jewellery and Camera until its sale in 1973. Jim was a very active community leader and volunteer: Charter Member of the Lions Club and President of various organizations including the Trochu and District Agricultural Society, Trochu Chamber of Commerce, and Trochu Home & School. He was also a member of the Elks Club, served as Town Councillor, and several times was Chairman of the board of St Paul’s United Church. Jim loved sports. He curled and played baseball in his youth and later also enjoyed skiing, boating, water-skiing, and sailing. He was also a voracious reader and loved to travel. Jim and Grace “practiced for retirement” from 1991 to 1999 and then sold Balkwill Pharmacy Ltd. to Isabel and Lorne Whyte and fully retired. They divided their time between their home in Trochu and their cottage at Shuswap Lake. Jim was predeceased by his mother and father. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Grace, and two daughters, Deborah (Dave) Guebert and Susan (Rich) Meding. Jim was a wonderful grandfather and was much loved by Houston Meding, Mackenzie Meding, Alexandra Guebert and Jack Guebert. Jim is survived by his brother Don (Hilda) and their children and grandchildren, as well as Grace’s sisters Lillian and Beatrice, brother Larry (Marjorie) and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, great-great-nieces, and great-great-nephews. A Celebration of Life was held on Friday, September 21, 2019 at the Trochu Community Center. Donations in memory of Jim may be made to the St. Paul's United Church, Trochu or to the Charity of Choice. Kneehull Funeral Services, Trochu, entrusted with arrangements 403-442-2123. 1s25c