In Memory Of Donaldson, James


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…………..

Messages for the Family of Donaldson, James

From: Keith and Kellee Murray

Our deepest condolences
From: Jim Nicell

Dear Mrs. Bellmore,

I am writing to express my deepest sympathies to you, and your family about the death of your husband, James M. Donaldson.

While words do not provide adequate consolation for the loss of a loved one, please know that my colleagues and I at the Faculty are with you in our thoughts.


Jim A. Nicell
Dean, Faculty of Engineering
McGill University
From: Honora Shaughnessy

Dear Marianne,
Please accept my most sincere condolences. Jim was always such a warm and friendly man and I so enjoyed our conversations over the years. He had the best smile ever and I will miss that friendly greeting from the deck of the Tennis Club. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Honora Shaughnessy
From: Glenn Sellors

Dear Marianne,
I am very sorry to hear of Jim's passing.
Jim hired me at Air Canada in 1987 and I am forever grateful to him for my career of 27 years.
He was always professional in the office and a great leader.
My condolences to you.

-Glenn Sellors
From: Robert Burns

A true Loyola man. A supportive friend
Sincere condolences to Marieanne and family.
From: Patricia

Dear Marianne,
I was truly saddened to read this morning of Jim's passing. The times Ken and I spent with you and Jim, though few, were always pleasant and fun and produced so many fond memories. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family on your loss. Jim was special and will be greatly missed. Thinking of you and sending hugs your way. Take care.

Pat McLeod
From: Edmund Tobin

Condolences- memories of Sherbrooke days
From: Renee Mizgala

Please accept my condolences to you and your family on the loss of Jim.
Frank has been gone for almost a year now, but I remember fondly meeting Jim at various Loyola functions I attended with him and the camaraderie between Jim and Frank was quite apparent.
Again, my deepest sympathies,
From: Helene McCormack

Dear Marianne
I was sad to read of your dear husband's death and wish to extend to you and your family my deep sympathy.
Although I may have met him briefly in the street, I know that he was a well loved and respected man.

May the memories of your times together be, in time, a consolation to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Helene McCormack
(from St. Mary's and the Griffith McConnell Residence)
From: Basil AKA Bob Cuddihy


Just got a copy of Jim's obit from a Montreal friend. Nora and I would like to extend our sympathy and prayers to you and your family at this time of loss. Did not know Jim well but do remember his cheerful smile and laugh when he would drop into the office when we were at RB in the early 80's.

May he rest in peace
From: Lynn doyle

Dear Marianne,
So sorry for your loss. Jim was one of the loveliest fellows ever.
May he rest In peace.

WIth sincere condolences,
Lynn (Doyle)
From: Michael Werleman

Dear Marianne
So sorry to read of Jim's passing. I have fond memories of our university days and our professional days together. And of course our reunions at McGill planned with Jim and Morty which sparked numerous stories of classmates and professors. Your picture of Jim was perfect.......showed his good humour and potential mischievousness in his eyes. He will be missed by so many people. Denise and I send our sincerest condolences.
From: Francine Lanctot

Dear Marianne,
My Deepest Sympathy.
It is with sadness that I learned of Jim's passing. He was a remarkable man.
Even though I have not seen you for such a long time, my time with you at Rourke Bourbonnais was such a pleasure.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Francine Lanctot
From: Linda Sutherland

Dear Marianne
I was so sorry to read about Jim's passing. I came to know Jim during my days at Air Canada. He was such a pleasant man and clearly loved his job. What I remember most vividly was his warm smile. Years later, when I met you and him at the MAA, I realized that his trademark smile was even brighter when he was in your company.
Please accept my deep condolences.
From: bruce Aubin

Dear Marianne;

I was so sorry to learn of Jim's passing My very sincerest condolences. While we had not been in touch over the last years he was very often in my thoughts and the years we spent together. Jim was an exceptional individual who in my opinion contributed each and every day to our success. I am sorry not to have kept in touch, however if ever I can be of help please do not hesitate to give me a call