JAMES DENNIS SHIRTLIFFE
James Dennis Shirtliffe passed away peacefully on September 10, 2020, after a brief stay at Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at the age of 80. Jim was born on November 23, 1939 to Hector Robert and Wilma Angela Shirtliffe (Hubka). Jim is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Janice (Rasmussen), his son Steve (Gillian Muir), and his daughters, Patti Dech (Dave) and Leanne (Chris Hughes). He leaves seven grandchildren: Zia, Alice, and Farren (Steve); Michael and Matthew (Patti); and William and Vivian (Leanne).
Jim grew up on the family farm near Elie, Manitoba, the middle child of five boys. He is survived by his brother, Cliff. Jim was predeceased by his parents and his brothers, Bob, Ladd, and Verne. Growing up, Jim loved the outdoors, hunting, trapping, and skating on the La Salle River. Jim attended the one-room schoolhouse at Elm Bank and then Starbuck High School. Following high school, he learned to weld at the Manitoba Technical Institute.
Jim farmed his entire working life. The early years on the farm were lean, and he and Janice started a family in a tiny house trailer, while Jim also worked off the farm in construction, heavy equipment, and welding. But times prospered, and in 1974 Jim and Janice built their family home, shop, and farmyard on the La Salle River, south of Elie. Jim was a hardworking farmer with an eye for perfection; both traits served to build the farm into a large operation. Always innovative, he was one of the first to stop summer fallowing land and to grow what is now known as canola. He took pride in his work: his welding beads were straight and strong; the machinery ran well and looked good. Jim was also a man of few words who avoided public recognition and taught by example. He raised his children to be just as he was: dedicated, independent, hardworking, and good providers.
Jim enjoyed curling in the winters and no matter how busy the summer was, he found time to go camping with his family at Falcon Lake and St. Ambroise. In 1995, Jim and Janice bought an RV and started going south for winters. They both loved the snowbird lifestyle and went to Arizona annually until April 2018. Jim and Janice’s literal home-away-from-home was Hidden Shores, where their RV site was the social hub for their large circle of close friends.
In 2008, Jim took off his last harvest and sold the farm. He and Janice then moved to Headingley for ten years before moving to Charleswood last year. Jim enjoyed time with his family, especially when his kids and grandchildren gathered at home. As his family grew, the raucous family dinners became legendary, with Jim sitting at the head of the table, glass of wine in hand.
Jim will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched. A burial and socially distanced service will be held outdoors at Bethlehem Memorial Gardens (4.5 kilometres south of Dacotah) at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, September 14, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church in Starbuck, Manitoba.