Our dear Jim passed away peacefully on November 12, with his loving wife by his side. Cherished husband, adored father, proud grandfather and special relative and friend to many, he had a long, productive and happy life and was always grateful for every day.
Born in B.C. (parents George Donaldson and Irene Steele), Jim spent his early years in Sherbrooke, QC. and later in Montreal where he attended Loyola H.S., then Loyola College graduating with a B.Sc. A few years later he followed his dream to become an architect, and graduated from McGill in ’62 with a B.Arch. After 2 years of internship with ARCOP, Jim and two fellow grads, founded a successful private practice, Donaldson, Drummond, Sankey. Two highlights were the New York State and the Ireland Pavillions at Expo’67; and the award-winning T.M.R. Library. After 7 years, an opportunity came his way to join Air Canada as Director of Design and Chief Architect, then Director of Properties + Facilities. He always said he enjoyed every day with AC, where he spent 22+ years overseeing the design and construction of their properties & facilities worldwide.
Always keenly interested in sports, politics, books and travel, Jim also loved socializing, especially lively dinners with family and friends. In retirement, he generously shared his knowledge and many talents with several community organizations: President - Loyola College Alumni Association, and active member of a successful Fundraising Committee to restore a campus legacy building, the Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre; President- St. Patrick’s Development Foundation; St. Mary’s Hospital 5300 Project; a one-year project for McGill’s 100th Anniversary of the School of Architecture; as well as a special design project for Star Alliance. Among awards he received, was the Distinguished Service Award from Concordia U. for his dedication and efforts on behalf of Loyola. He was also honored to become a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in ’88.
Jim will be lovingly remembered by Marianne (Bellmore), his dearly loved wife of 46 years; his cherished children: daughters Anne (Gordon Pym); Kimberley (Paul Donovan); and son Michael (Diane Hale); and his much loved grandchildren, Christopher Pym, Stephanie & Karlee Donovan, and Heather & Lindsay Donaldson. Jim will be sadly missed by Marianne’s Toronto family; brother-in-law Brian Bellmore (Heather), sister-in-law Gerry Bellmore (Phil Pisarski), nieces and nephews; Maureen Bellmore (Tim Dimuzio), Patrick Bellmore (Karen Broad), David Bellmore (Cheska), Erin Bellmore (Jesse Harrison), and Sean Pisarski (Megan Gaic); and their families. He will be fondly remembered by the Steele, Phaneuf (nephew Michael, niece Louise) and Branswell families, as well as by many friends. He was predeceased by his dear sister Mary Phaneuf.
Jim will be remembered as kind, fun-loving, intelligent, positive, respectful, and generous to those around him. We will never forget you, Jim. We love you. Rest in peace.
A service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory to: the Montreal General Hospital Foundation; St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation; CHSLD St. Georges Foundation; Loyola College Alumni Endowment Fund.
Condolences and memories may be sent to the family on the Kane & Fetterly website…………..