James (Jim) Patrick Callanan

January 13, 1940 to June 6, 2016

Jim was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, attended St. Bonaventure’s College, then joined the Oblates of Mary Immaculate as a Brother, serving for twenty years. On his first mission he was sent to Lejac Residential School near Vanderhoof, BC, April 1, 1960, at the age of twenty. Here he served for ten years caring for ninety-two boys all the time they were not in the classroom. Despite a seemingly daunting task he gave everything he had towards engaging the boys in archery, curling, hockey, crafts, bingo, movie nights, social dances withe the girls, hiking, canoe trips, developing and touring the renowned Lejac marching band, as well as building log cabins, a covered curling rink, and an outdoor hockey rink. He also attended to building maintenance, and transporting children to and from school during Christmas, Easter and summer holidays.

He was then transferred to the Terrace, BC, parish where he served as a master of everything for the Catholic Church and School: retreat organizer, prayer group leader for teens, maintenance man, school bus driver, sports directory, grounds keeper, carpenter, etc.

In 1979 he received dispensation from his church vows in order to marry widowed Eileen McGhee (nee Lightfoot), and became the adored adopted father of her children, Colleen, Doug, Don (predeceased) and Dan, as well as devoted husband, and the light of Eileen’s life. Jim developed a successful business as a master cabinet maker in Terrace and continued in his love for travel and outdoor activities.

Jim’s heart was generous and open to all people. He loved life and laughter.

He is survived by his loving wife Eileen of 37 years, brother Charlie Callanan (Pat), sister Mary Lou Hickey (Martin), his three children, three grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and in-laws.

Jim and Eileen moved to Nanaimo, BC, in 2012.

The family wishes to give thanks and accolades to the Nanaimo General Hospital: the exceptional doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers in Emergency, on the Main Ward, and in the special Palliative Care.

The family thanks everyone for their tremendous love and support.

Funeral mass will be held Friday, June 17, 2016, 11 am, at Trinity Catholic Church, 6234 Spartan Road, Nanaimo. A celebration of life will follow the service.

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