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September 22, 2016


Dr. James (Jim) Warren O'Toole

After a brief illness, Jim passed away peacefully on September 22, 2016 in Nanaimo with family at his side. Born July 26, 1923, Jim was the second eldest of 4 children and grew up on a farm in Dollard, Saskatchewan. The son of a grain seller, he assisted with farm chores during the rough times of the 1930’s drought. Jim enlisted to serve Canada during World War 2 in 1942 at age 18 years old, after graduating from high school. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and flew Hurricanes and Spitfires, among other aircraft. He was a pilot with 443 Squadron, Wing 127.

Upon return from overseas, Jim attended the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Medicine. He started his medical career at The St James Medical Group, and co-founded the Assiniboine Clinic. Jim achieved his Family Practice designation in 1967 and enjoyed Emergency Medicine, Aviation Medicine and was the Manitoba Medical Association representative for the Winnipeg Ambulance Board.

Jim met his wife, Elizabeth (Betty) McCarthy during an arranged bridge foursome. They were married in Winnipeg on June 3, 1950. By the time he graduated from Medical school in 1952, baby number 2 was on the way and there were 9 children in total born between 1951 and 1967. He also has 14 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

He built a cottage at Bird Lake, Manitoba, in 1958 that has become a restful haven and gathering place for all family. There, each generation formed lifelong friendships and learned key life and survival skills. He enjoyed spending time at the family cottage at Bird Lake, Manitoba in addition to swimming, sailing, fishing, skiing, playing tennis, flying aircraft, reading and any other adventure or opportunity he could learn from.

Jim retired in 1984 and moved to Nanoose Bay. He lived there until 2010, when he moved to Berwick Retirement Residence in Nanaimo. During his early retirement he continued to work as a private medical consultant for the Department of Transportation in Vancouver providing medical examinations for airline pilots and crew. This led him to a once in a lifetime adventure when he was asked to be the medical officer for Odyssey 86, onboard a DC-3 plane, for a 2-month journey around the world to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the DC-3, and Expo 86.

Family was extremely important to Jim. He loved his family, provided thoughtful guidance and nurtured their independence. He is proud that all children received post secondary education.

Jim will be dearly missed by his children, grandchildren and great grand children:

•Kathleen of Toronto;

•Patrick (Janis) and family of Kitchener;

•Peggy (Mike McCarvill) and family of Errington;

•Maureen (Bob Bennie) of Nanaimo;

•Tom (Jocelyn) and family of Calgary;

•Rob (Janice) and family of Winnipeg;

•Theresa (Rod Dickson) of Portadown, Northern Ireland; and

•Shauna Bolger and family of Parksville.

Jim will also be missed by numerous nieces and nephews and countless friends and extended family who found his warmth, wisdom and humour legendary. He was predeceased by his wife, Betty (McCarthy) in 2008, son Dennis in 1969 and brothers, Patrick O’Toole of Kamloops, Floyd O’Toole of Coronation, Alberta, and sister Joanne Cockwill of Edmonton.

The family extends their gratitude and thanks to all the staff at Berwick on the Lake and Nanaimo Palliative Care for their kindness and genuine care to Jim.

A funeral mass for Jim will be held on September 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm at Trinity Catholic Church, 6234 Spartan Road, Nanaimo, British Columbia.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to a charity of choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to First Memorial 250-754-8333

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