At 10:50 pm. Monday, Nov. 7, 2005, surrounded by his family, James Francis Forsyth, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, made his first and only free fall jump.
Born May 22, 1936 in Saint John, New Brunswick, son of the late George and Mary Helen (Melanson) Forsyth. His father joined the Navy, and in 1940 the family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he lived until 1954. Choosing to make a career in the military, he joined the 2nd Batallion Black Watch (R.H.R.) and was posted to Aldershot, Nova Scotia. In 1957 he married Margaret Ann Colllicott, transferred to the 2nd Batallion Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, Hamilton Gault Barracks in Edmonton, Alberta, where they started their life together.
In 1960 their son James was born. In 1965 he transferred to the Ordanance Corp (R.C.O.C.) and was posted to Winnipeg, then Rivers, Manitoba. While stationed at Rivers, he accepted in 1968, a 1 year tour of duty to Vietnam with the Canadian Delegation to the Indo China Commission working out of Saigon. We believe while there he was exposed to Agent Orange, which caused the rare T-Cell Lymphoma Cancer that ultimately took his life.
On his return to Canada in 1969, he was posted to Jerico Beach in Vancouver, where in 1970 a daughter Tracy was welcomed to the family, moving a year later to C.F.B. Chilliwack.
In 1974 he made a career change, retired from the military, and joined Corrections Canada, working for 17 years at the Matsqui and Kent Institutions. He retired in 1991, travelled to Scotland to trace his roots, and set about enjoying the next 14 years. He will be remembered for his commitment to the task at hand, and doing his best at work or play. For years he enjoyed hunting with his best friend Ed. An avid old movie buff, he loved westerns and John Wayne.
Pre-deceased by his parents, an older brother Richard, and an infant sister Eleanor. Survived by his wife of 48 years Ann, his son James (Verna), granddaughters Lara and Kelsey of Richmond, B.C., his daughter Tracy (Stephen) Gonsalves, grnaddaughter Jayden of Yarrow, B.C., two brothers George (Hilda) Forsyth and Billy (Diane) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, two sisters Doreen (Ken) Strachan, and Mary (Harold) Umlah, both of Edmonton, Alberta, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
A special thank you to the doctors who looked after him these past 2 years. Dr.’s McFadyen, Richmond and Tam, his nurse Nancy for being there with patience and compassion, to all the wonderful 3rd floor staff at the Chilliwack Hospital, our family thanks you. He will be missed and forever hold a special place in all our hearts.
As it is the year of the Vets, donations in his name to The Canadian Legion Poppy Fund, Salvation Army or a charity of choice is greatfully accepted.
A service honoring Jim will be held Thursday, November 17, at 2:00 pm at Hendersons Funeral Home, 45901 Victoria Ave., Chilliwack, B.C.
Jim – May your chute stay open forever, keeping you soaring above the clouds.