Nature 21

James Harvey McMurray

May 21, 1934 ~ October 2, 2020 (age 86)


Jim McMurray, much loved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully on October 2nd at home. Jim was born and raised in Toronto and had the good fortune of meeting Audrey Hodgins, the love of his life, in the ninth grade at a High Park United Church Youth Group dance. She asked him to dance and they went on to marry eight years later. The High Park Youth Group was also where Jim and Audrey formed lifelong friendships. 

Jim graduated from the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Education. He started his career as a Physical Education teacher at Parkdale Secondary School, then moved into the role of Vice Principal at Castle Frank Secondary School, North Toronto Secondary School and finally Humberside Collegiate, his alma mater. He was also a swim coach at Parkdale, North Toronto and Humberside.

Jim loved to spend summers at the family cottage in Algonquin Highlands. It was there that he taught his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews how to swim, water ski and sail. For a few years he stole precious cottage time to take the family on camping trips with the Anderson family across Canada and one particularly memorable trip to Disneyland in California. Once their children were grown, Jim and Audrey enjoyed some lovely international trips to Asia, Australia and Europe.  

Immediately upon retiring in 1989 Jim filled his time on the curling rink. He played in many leagues over the years, joining the Mississauga Golf and Country Club in 2001. According to his teammates, Jim’s contribution went far beyond his prowess on the ice. Before long he was heavily involved in the senior division putting the teams together and scheduling games. He was passionate about making sure that anyone who wanted to curl had the opportunity and had a reputation for getting things done, no matter how much nagging was required! He also participated in as many bonspiels as he could fit in.

Fortuitously, Jim became a Grandfather the year he retired and spent almost as much time with his grandchildren as he did on the curling rink.  Danielle and Seana will forever cherish memories of summers spent with Grandma and Grandpa at the cottage and annual winter Caribbean vacations. Ivan and Tera remember fondly their Grandparents’ visits to their home in the Slocan Valley. 

Jim is survived by his wife, Audrey; children Patty (Tony) Trost, Jan (Dan Nicholson) McMurray, and John; grandchildren Danielle (Michael) Marchetti, Seana (Bryce) Jarman, Ivan Nicholson (Delia), Tera Nicholson and step grandson Owain Peach Nicholson.

Jim had a positive impact on many in his 86 years on this earth and will be dearly missed.

Special thanks to Anna from Heart House Hospice and Dr. Sittambalam’s palliative team for their kind, compassionate care of Jim over the past few months.

The family would appreciate donations to Heart House Hospice  in Jim’s memory.    

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