Harkness, Alfred James “Jim” – It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Jim on November 19, 2019, at the age of 95. Dearly loving husband and best friend of Eulalia “Bunny” (nee Hewer). Cherished father of Tim (predeceased) and Cam (Sharon). Will sadly and lovingly be missed by son Cam (Sharon), grandchildren Wesleigh (Eric) Carusi, Bradley (Christina), Amanda and Erika, and by great-grandchildren Cullen and Shay. Jim will also be missed by his many dear friends.
Jim, an only child, grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario and often shared fond memories of his youth there, The Harkness's subsequently moved to Windsor and Jim would often head to Detroit to catch a ball game with friends. Jim met Bunny (his Boo) in Windsor at a dance and never looked back. They had a treasured marriage for 72 years. Jim served in the Canadian Air Force and was sadly restricted to a co-pilot status due to a hearing impairment. He was known to impress others by identifying planes simply by the sound of their engine. In 1963, Jim, a chartered accountant, was assistant controller of Ontario Steel, later purchased by Rockwell-Standard. Jim became corporate secretary in the early ‘70s and in 1976 was appointed Director and Vice-President of Rockwell International. After a long and distinguished career, Jim retired in 1991.
From his associates in the corporate boardrooms to his lifelong friends, everyone knew of Jim and Bunny’s log cabin in northern Ontario on a wilderness lake called Pogamasing that teams with trout, bass and pickerel. The only gateway to enter was a De Havilland Beaver or a CPR bud car out of Sudbury. He was an avid angler and loved the outdoors.
After retiring, Jim and Bunny built their dream home in Kona, Hawaii where they would spend their winters, sharing their time with family and close friends. He enjoyed breathtaking sunsets, swimming in their pool, whale watching and often boogy boarding at his favourite beach, Mauna Kea. If Jim wasn’t in Hawaii or at Pog, you would find him on the golf course at Weston Golf and Country Club, where he was a longtime member. One of his proudest achievements, at the age of 77 shot a 77 with a two on the 18th hole at Weston. When he had his first hole-in-one at Weston (after playing for 40+ years) on the 8th hole he called Tim to say that “its now ok if he was to go!" Jim was able to pick up many hobbies throughout his life leaving us with hand-painted artifacts and wood carvings of such things as the Hawaiian Islands.
Jim was truly someone that lived with class and grace. It was evident to everyone that crossed his path that Jim was a special man. His children and grandchildren were blessed to have him as their moral compass. We would like to thank everyone at Humber River Hospital and Humber Heights Retirement home for their great care of Jim over the last month. Everyone we met raved about his demeanour as a patient.
Those who knew Jim knew he never liked being the centre of attention and per his wishes there will be no services. He will be remembered in our hearts forever as he has provided us with profound life experiences. We will host an open house on January 15, 2020, 6 – 8 pm, at Weston Golf and Country Club, in his honour and enjoy a beer for an exceptional man.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory to the Children's Make a Wish Foundation or Sick Kids Hospital are greatly appreciated. Jim always thought he would have made a great doctor and we believe he would love to help those children have a better day.