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Father, Son, Brother, Uncle, Dear Friend, Jim was all of these things and so much more. Tragically, Jim was killed in a work-related accident in early 2005, at the age of 30.
What word would best describe Jim? Strong, articulate, dedicated, confident. These are just a few words that come to mind when thinking of Jim, but the best word to describe him would have to be passionate.
From early on in life Jim showed incredible promise. Everything seemed to come naturally to him. Whether it was academics, social interaction, team or individual sports, it made no difference, Jim excelled. And it was passion that drove him.
Anyone who knew Jim certainly knew of his passion for football. Playing, watching, coaching - he loved every aspect of football. His high school coaches have spoken of his ability to lead on the field, keeping everyone focused and providing timely sparks. As a fan, Jim was dedicated to his beloved Dallas Cowboys and Miami Hurricanes.
When thinking of Jim’s love for reading and learning, passionate is the only way you could describe it. In his Grade 8 graduation yearbook, multiple classmates suggested, “Jim, take a break from the history books this summer…” but he would not. He was the valedictorian that year, and he found his way to the top of his high school class as well. Eventually, almost inevitably, this passion would lead him to the University of Western Ontario, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts.
Jim also possessed an extraordinary appreciation for nature. Camping, hiking, canoeing, exploring, Jim loved it all. And he was never happier than when he was doing those things. Nature was a part of him.
Sadly, Jim’s greatest passion in life came only two years prior to his sudden death. His son, Zachary, was unquestionably his greatest source of pride. You couldn’t have held a conversation with Jim, without him boasting about Zach’s every success, and rightfully so, Zach is a super kid and the greatest gift that Jim could have ever given us.
As it turns out, in death Jim was as giving as in life, and through the Gift of Life Organization he was able to improve the lives of many others. These positive feelings gave our family a much needed boost during a very tough time, and for that we are forever grateful.
Jim Sandford Jr.