Jim Powers

July 22, 1936 - March 19, 2023
March 22, 2023 9 Condolences Print Obituary Send Flowers

It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we announce the passing of our dear husband and father, James (Jim) Wyndham Powers on March 19, 2023. He was 86 years old.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Marla Helen (Read), his daughter Carol Anne (Allan Schmaltz), his sister Margaret Alford of Edmonton, sister Ethel Armstrong of Salt Spring Island, B.C., sister-in-law Patricia Connauton of Armstrong B.C., brother-in-laws Lawrence Read of Tappen, B.C. and Edwin Read of Vernon, B.C. And he will always be remembered as Uncle Jim to his many nieces and nephews.

Jim was predeceased by his daughter Denise Deborah in 1989, his mother Frances Alberta also in 1989, mother-in-law Ruth Read in 1994, father Harold in 1998 and later sister-in-law Ruth Sokil, nephew Wayne Alford, brother-in-law Bob Alford, sister-in-law Myrna Freeborn, sister-in-law Ethel Read, sister Hazel Switzer, brother-in-law Bud Read and sister-in-law Lena Read.

He also kept close to his heart beloved past feline companions - Cinder, Sebastian, Oliver (Denise), Dude, Pete and Cheddar, all who found a great home at the little house on 50th street. And over the years he was a reliable house-sitter for his daughter Carol and her husband Allan.

Born on July 22, 1936 at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, he was the youngest of 4 children and the only son. When he was a toddler the family relocated to Edson, Alberta where they lived for 10 years at Many Gates farm outside of town. They returned to Edmonton where he attended McDougall and Victoria Composite schools. However at the age of 17 he left school to pursue a career at Soper-Singleton Electric Company, where he learned his trade as a fire protection equipment technician. But it was always his dream to be an aviator, a dream he had to abandon due to less than perfect vision. He maintained a keen interest in aircraft throughout his life though and could easily identify just about any plane, especially vintage WWII aircraft.

He met his future wife Marla at Teddy’s Lunch, where she worked and after they married on November 26, 1955 in Armstrong B.C. they returned to Edmonton and settled into life as a young married couple. Their two children were born several years later, the family residing in the Gold Bar neighborhood of Edmonton where Jim and Marla stayed for 64 years.

A warm-hearted soul with a razor sharp wit, Jim loved good conversation, good food and drink, family dinners and gatherings, all major holiday celebrations and was an enthusiastic party planner for his daughters childhood birthday parties. During warm summer afternoons Jim could be found tending his barbecue with his radio by his side, a never ending bounty of carnivorous delights rolling onto plates throughout the evening. He enjoyed the funny papers, The Simpsons and Family Guy. He recently told his daughter Carol that he always enjoyed a good cartoon. As a young man he loved summer road trips to B.C. to visit family and he enjoyed Sunday afternoons with his young daughters trimming the sails on his little hand-crafted wooden sailboat moored at Cooking Lake. A unique individual who set his own rules and did things his own way, he loved the solace of the cozy little home that he and his wife Marla loved. His home was his sanctuary and he spent decades building and improving almost every corner of the structure and yard, pouring concrete, extending walls, installing tile and on and on as well as working on his vehicles in the original man cave, his garage. It wasn’t unusual to see him up on a ladder or the roof, fixing and repairing, or trimming the massive apple tree in the back yard well into his later years. Growing pumpkins on the sunny south side of the house became an interest for several years, a hobby that yielded some pretty impressive results. A man who figured things out on his own, he travelled far and wide throughout central and Northern Alberta during his decades of self-employment. After hanging up his tools in 2011, Jim spent his time enjoying talk radio in his sunroom, hours long bike rides and the lively discourse of Fox News much to his family’s dismay, dinners out and taking drives with his wife Marla by his side.

As the sun set on his life, he slipped away quietly in the early hours of March 19, 2023 after a brave fight with cancer and it’s subsequent deadly complications. The family wishes to thank the staff and doctors of The Grey Nuns Community Hospital, Edmonton for their many weeks of kind, compassionate and exhaustive care during a difficult illness.

A private Celebration of Life will be announced in the coming months.

Dad, your departure has left a huge void. We will always miss you.

One more time
One more sunset, maybe I’d be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you.

  1. Carol, this tribute to your Dad is simply wonderful! Mom and I read it with laughter and tears in our eyes. Mom is remembering her “little” brother and digesting your lovely words. I remember so many happy times in the company of my “Uncle Jim” and I can hear his infectious laugh. May the memories of the good times help you, Allan and your Mom. Jim was loved and adored. His special soul will be missed. Hugs to you and your Mom.
    – Marg and Deb Alford –

    • Glad you and your mom liked it Debbie. Thank you ❤️

  2. Oh Carol what a lovely tribute to your dear Dad. He was your one constant. He was full of guidance, support and unconditional love who will be missed so much. May his memory be eternal. Love Shannon

    • Our dad’s, our constants. Always there for us. Thank you Shannon.

  3. Carol Ann my heart is hurting, the space left there, for the love of my Uncle Jim, is immense. Uncle Jim was fun! Yes sir, what a guy? He always made we children feel important, our questions attended and answered, thoughtfully and clearly. He is the reason I enjoy music so much, when I was 13 he introduced me to Gordon Lightfoot and Ian Tyson. I today can not hear a tune by either musician and not reflect on my dear uncle . Uncle Jim had a huge heart, he loved us all and he was only 15 years older. He was our big brother for years, in such a positive way. I’ll never forget him sitting at our little kitchen table on 115st, looking me, squarely and confidently, saying “ Janet, beer on your cereal is the best for breakfast” I was having porridge with milk, he poured beer on his. He would have been 18 and not a big drinker.
    Can’t remember if he actually ate that cereal, but I shall never forget that cherubic face, laughing. Always with you, you were in on the joke, you were always included and he never joked about you. His presence and personage was beyond reproach, my world is much less now, I shall miss him so much.
    Uncle Jim, I sure hope that Navajo Rug is on the floor, and you are hearing old Ian sing you across the prairie, as your spirit soars with the eagles and the coyote howls as you fly by . Rest well. You are flying now, dearest one.

    • Jan, dad hears you! All the memories – (beer on cereal, what a hoot). He was always young at heart. Thank you for your phone visits with him this winter, it meant so much to him.

  4. My Memories of Jim Powers
    My Mom (Margaret Alford) often told us about the young Powers family walking to the ‘Many Gates’ farm from Edson for the first time and her little brother Jim throwing himself down to the ground in protest.
    Mom also told me many times about Jim showing up at our Edson house unannounced one very cold winter day, not long after I was born. My Dad (Bob Alford) would not let him in because he did not recognise Jim.
    I remember us visiting Uncle Jim and Aunt Marla in their apartment just east of Westmount Shopping Center. Carrol was just a baby.
    When I was about 11years old, I went to the Edmonton Municipal Airport with my Uncle Jim one day to visit the Jaycopter hangar. They made the Jaycopter coin operated game and the Helicopter trainer. I also remember seeing an aircraft propeller driven snow-ski machine behind the hangar.
    I also remember my Uncle Jim took me over to one of his friend’s garage where they were building a fiberglass boat in the middle of the winter. It must have been 100deg. Fahrenheit in that garage and the fumes just about knocked me out.
    The ‘Longhorn Handlebared’ three speed bicycle I rode was Jim’s old bike that Gramps and I hauled out of his garage rafters one day. He gave it to me. It had a cracked frame. I replaced the frame with one I found in one of our neighbor’s garbage.
    One day I went with Jim, Carrol, and Denise to Cooking Lake, Sea-Plane Base to take his little sailboat out of the water for the winter.
    Me and Dad helped Jim teardown an old house. He had bought from the city as they were making a right-of-way for a new road. Jim used the salvaged lumber to build his garage. Dad and I also gave Jim a hand with building his garage.
    I wore Jim’s old yellow leather jacket all the way through high school. Nanny had given it to me one day I was at their house.
    As a family, we spend many times attending larger family gatherings at Nanny and Gramps’ house.
    I’ll miss him.

    • Great memories Rob, thank you for sharing.

  5. Carol Anne, your tribute to Uncle Jim is so eloquent and touching.

    Such a wonderful man in a myriad of ways,it was always a treat to be in his company.

    Whether a gathering was sad or joyful, when Uncle Jim arrived, he added his special touch to it.
    When he had an opinion about something, and he always did, he was happy to share it, whether it was popular or not and he was usually right on.

    His magical sense of humour always spiced up our family gatherings. When Uncle Jim and Aunty Marla arrived I knew we were in for a lot of laughter and fun. .

    Whether it was a car ride to get an ice cream cone or a BBQ at 973 Leovista or a memorable extended working trip down to the Bahamas with Wally, being with Uncle Jim was always an adventure.

    I really cherish the many memories of those times. No wonder we all love him so much.

    Thank-you Uncle Jim and may you rest in peace.

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