On Monday, April 26, 2010 at 12:40 A.M., at the age of 56, Jim Peter Krahn passed away peacefully in the presence of 3 of his brothers, Dennis, Walter, and David at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, after a 16 year battle with cancer.
Jim was born on April 17, 1954 at the Chilliwack General Hospital to Jake and Helen Krahn who had immigrated from the Ukraine in 1948. Jim is the second of 5 boys and also predeceased by his mother Helen who also died of lung cancer in December of 2006.
Jim was always a delight to everyone he came in contact with, especially his mom. He had a bounce to his step and loved life and lived life to the fullest. He was born with great athleticism. In high school he was involved with gymnastics, basketball, volleyball and track and field. He excelled in track and field where in grade 12 he made it to the provincials where he placed fifth in pole vault and sixth in triple jump.
During his high school years his dad got the whole family involved in water and snow skiing in which he excelled greatly and continued to participate in these sports in his later years. He loved to hike with his favourite hike going up Mt. Cheam as often as he could. He would bring as many people with him so they could enjoy the scenery and the view like he did.
After graduating from high school in 1972 from Chilliwack Senior, Jim after 2 years at BCIT received a business certificate in 1974. After graduating from BCIT Jim and his close friend travelled Europe together for 6 months.
Upon his return he started working for his father who was a building contractor and continued to work for him until 1979. He was always wanting to spread his wings so at the end of 1979 he landed a job with BMW Canada in Vancouver and was able to put his business experience to good use. He loved his new job and in 1990 the office in Vancouver was being moved to Toronto. He was faced with a choice and chose not to go.
In the meantime he went back to his construction roots where he happily worked with his brothers in Chilliwack. After three years of framing he worked on tilt-ups for another 2 years and in 1995 he became a journeyman carpenter as a top student. For being top student he won the Fredrickson square which he was very proud of.
Again, the business world was calling and at the end of 1995 he landed a job with Brian Jessel BMW in Langley. Because of the location of his new job, Jim moved to the Quay in New Westminster. BMW moved to Coquitlam and finally to Vancouver where he worked until the beginning of 2009 when the cancer became more serious.
Jim was always exercising although fighting disease and sickness and despite being born with a heart disease and fighting seizures which developed in his late 20’s. In 2004 Jim turned it up a notch and put himself on a rigourous exercise program around 2004. The doctors were telling him he shouldn’t be doing this but despite what they said he changed his diet and threw himself into getting real fit. Despite being told on Jan. 15, 2010 that he had stage 4 terminal cancer and had three to six months to live he continued to exercise. On the week of March 7-11 of 2010 Jim was still bench pressing 3 reps of 10 in the amount of 225 pounds besides putting himself through his training program.
On March 11, 2010 Jim had his last real supper with his brothers in Chilliwack. Unbeknownst to anyone, his trip with his wife to Palm Springs on March 11, 2010 was going to be the beginning of his downward spiral. On March 18 at 7:30 a.m. in the morning while staying with his brother Ernie and wife Betti who were on a two week holiday of their own, he suffered a major stroke which left him completely paralyzed on the left side. It was believed later that the cause of the stroke was underlying cancer which had caused the blood to thicken. After a call to 911, he was rushed to the hospital. Again Jim kept fighting and with the help of the doctors they were able to use a mercy retrieval method and pull out the clot which was the size of one’s pinky. When the clot was pulled out his body became unparalyzed and the doctors figured that his recovery would be 100%. On March 25 he had a series of minor heart attacks, which again he recovered from with flying colours. On March 26, his blood pressure dropped and he was rushed to ICU where they put him on oxygen life support. Again he recovered. There were many other minor problems that did not help his situation as well. Because all that was going on up to March 26, the brothers as well as all the sister-in-laws and some friends flew down to Palm Springs. Eventually the emergency passed and everyone went home leaving his brother behind with Ernie and his wife Betti and Vicki to be with him.
On April 2 which was Good Friday, Jim was finally stable enough and flown via a ICU jet from Palm Springs to the Royal Columbian Hospital. There were no more emergencies but only the pain of the cancer eating him up from the inside. On April 26, 2010 at 12:40 a.m. he quietly passed away.
Jim was always a fighter and he never gave up which is characterized by his life. He was a free spirit who always gave 100% no matter what he did. He will be greatly missed by his wife Vicki, father Jake Krahn, 4 brothers, Ernie (Betti), David (Lana), Walter (Raelene), Dennis, 17 nephews and nieces, and 4 great-nephews as well as many close friends.
A special thanks goes out to the staff at Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs, California and the staff at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster where he was cared for during his last 5½ weeks.
He was laid to rest at the Greendale Cemetery on May 3, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. followed by a service at Willingdon Church at 2:00 p.m. in Burnaby.
Donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society of Canada. Jim had a sense of humour and one of his favourite sayings while in the hospital when his brothers left after visiting was, “I love you like a brother.”
Wiebe & Jeske Funeral Services – 604.859.5885