Dad was born June 23, 1937 to William and Isabella Petrie. He was raised on the Petrie Homestead north of Chauvin along with his older siblings: Minnie, Bella, Barbara, Bill. His early school years were in Edinglassie and Chauvin followed by the Vermilion School of Agriculture, where he spent two years before returning to the farm.
After marrying in October 1959, he and Mavis bought the farm in March 1960. It was here they raised their three children: Louise, Danny and Rodney and began living the farm life in earnest. Crops were harvested and the cattle herd grew to include purebred Charolais.
To dad, each new life on the farm was precious, a trait for which he was well known. In the spring, he took great pleasure in watching growing calves play in the warm sun, and finding new arrivals curled up in fresh straw. His cows were his pets, many with names, all with known calving history. During visits to Rod and Val’s, Dad loved to see their cows and share stories from his past ranching experiences.
In the fall, he felt such satisfaction bringing in the harvest; all the more so when he finally got the John Deere 6620 combine. Dad retired from cows and crops after the auction sale in June 2012, but he was always a farmer at heart. When Petrie Farms Ltd was purchased by Louise, Don, Aric and Leo, Dad kept a keen interest in the farm operations, offering an opinion and advice, but always supporting whatever decision was made.
He and Mom enjoyed many motorhome trips. Dad especially liked the weekends they went to the chuckwagon races, watching intently as Aric made his jumps to round those barrels behind the Molle wagon. Grandpa Jim felt he was a very lucky man being able to see his grandchildren and great grandchildren take part in their respective activities.
Dad spent many hours in his well-equipped woodworking shop creating end tables, coffee tables, trunks, chairs, picture frames that we all treasure in our homes. He would light a fire in the wood-burning stove, sometimes working on a project, and other times just sitting quietly with his cats. He appreciated moments like that to reminisce upon days gone by.
While Dad and Dr. Erasmus already had a great respect for one another, they discovered a shared interest in wood working. Even when Dad was in hospital, they would chat about tools, and wood types. From this conversation came Dad’s request for Dr. Erasmus to please build his cremation urn.
Dad’s move to the Hillcrest Lodge in 2017 meant he could enjoy seeing more countryside as he still made many trips north to watch the seeding and combining, always willing to deliver lunches to the men or help them move from one field to the next. During seeding and harvest, we would see his black Chevy slowly coming across the field to park on a hillside to watch. He would often come to Danny and Rita’s for lunch followed by Dad sharing stories as he and Danny toured the countryside.
When COVID restricted his drives, Dad needed to be around his family. He came to stay with Don and Louise for a few months. Never wanting to be in the way, he helped when he could, drove where he liked, napped when he wanted, played with kittens and dogs on the deck. Fretting the great grandchildren would grow up not knowing Grandpa Jim, he cherished each and every opportunity to be with them. He wore many hats in his lifetime: farmer, herdsman, oilfield operator but none more proudly than husband, father and grandfather and great grandfather.
He will forever be missed and lovingly remembered by his children, Louise (Don) Paré, Danny (Rita) Petrie, Rodney (Val) Petrie; grandchildren, Leo (Amanda) Paré, Aric (Ashley) Pare, Brenna (Andrew) Condin, Brett Petrie and Danielle Petrie; great grandchildren, Grayson, Rylan, Everly, Maisy, Dekker, Bryken, Keslee, Brynn, Caleigh, Merren and Cale; sisters, Bella Kruithof and Barb McCann; sister in law, Iris DePasquale; brothers in law, Ken Hawtin and Calvin (Joan) Ferrier; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and friends.
Dad was predeceased by his wife, Mavis (Nov 2020), his parents, William and Isabella Petrie; sister Minnie Litowski ; brother, Bill Petrie; sisters in law, Mary Petrie and Allyce Hawtin; brothers in law, George Litowski, Dick Kruithof, Doug McCann and Lou DePasquale.