James "Jim" Clarkson

Obituary of James "Jim" Clarkson

James "Jim" Clarkson (November 18, 1942- May 20, 2020) Predeceased by his loving and much loved wife Trudi (Gunn) in 2002; a concerned and devoted father to his daughters Rebecca, Victoria and Elizabeth and their loved ones. Jim attended Brantford Collegiate and was a graduate of Carleton University (BA (Hons) 1965) and McMaster University (MA 1968). His first career was in teaching and administration at McMaster University, Ridley College and Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology; he retired from the latter in 1974 as Chairman of the English Department and began his second career in the steel service centre industry with Ruff Clarkson Steel Limited. After a brief (26 year) apprenticeship, he became President of the firm, succeeding his good friend and colleague Merv Smith. Jim loved his life with Trudi, his work, the written word, all theatre from the classics to Broadway and West End musicals to the outer boundaries of the Fringe. He loved large dogs, French and Californian wines. He loathed social engineering and political extremism and came to terms with electronic technology only later in life, rapidly becoming addicted to his Mac and iPhone. Over his years, Jim was involved in a variety of organizations including the James Joyce Society, OACD, National Council of Teachers of English, Committee of College English Heads, Bootmakers of Toronto, The Camera Club (Great Newport Street), Canadian Mental Health Association (Brant County Branch), Canadian Steel Service Centre Institute, Royal Overseas League, Executive of the Brantford Provincial and Brant Federal Progressive Conservative Associations, Rotary Club of Brantford, The Brantford Club (President 1987) and was a supporter of the Stratford Festival, RBG, ROM, AGO, Hot Docs and TIFF. In retirement, he settled in the historic St Lawrence (Old Town) district of Toronto and enjoyed the energy and diversity and rich theatre, film, music, art and local history available there. Private family arrangements are entrusted to the BECKETT-GLAVES FAMILY FUNERAL CENTRE, 88 Brant Avenue, Brantford. Flowers gratefully declined but memorial donations, if desired, may be directed to the St Michael’s Hospital Foundation, 30 Bond Street, Toronto and would be appreciated by Jim, his family and the Urban Angels of St. Mike’s. A tree will be planted in memory of Jim in the Beckett-Glaves Memorial Forest.
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