In honour of Jim Willis

Monique Chiasson
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In honour of Jim Willis

TRURO - Steve Willis is speechless for a moment as he gazes at a huge community sympathy card before him.
"I feel quite proud that dad was that well known and liked and some folks are taking it as hard as the family or harder," Steve said of his father, Jim Willis, who died last Tuesday in the QE2 hospital in Halifax after a brief battle with cancer.
Many in the community are mourning the death of the friendly 77-year-old who refused to retire and loved to meet people daily. Jim was the owner/co-operator of Jim's Light Trucking for more than 40 years.
In his memory Inglis Jewelers has erected a huge card, measuring 4x4, on its outside window for members of the community to sign. It has quickly filled since being made available a day after Jim's death.
"We wanted to help people grieve on the street. He was well loved and respected in downtown Truro," said Paul Clark, co-owner of Inglis Jewelers, adding this is the first time the business has made a community memorial card available.
"His passing was so quick we wanted an opportunity for people who didn't know to know.
"I heard one person say, 'it is the end of a legend."
Clark remembers the senior Willis as a "dancing machine" who loved to smile and talk with everybody he came into contact with.
"He was a friendly person by nature who had to meet people everyday," added Steve, who resides in Lower Onslow.
Valley's Judy MacLeod signed the card
Saturday. She's known Jim for about four
years.
"He was a very fine man and always eager to help," said MacLeod as Steve watched her add her sentiments to those already overflowing on the card.
"I love there's an opportunity to express thoughts like this," said MacLeod.
Clark expects the card will be given to the Willis family today.
Steve said his mother has the perfect spot chosen for it: in Jim's bedroom.
The funeral for Jim is today at 2 p.m. at Colchester Community Funeral Home.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com


Organizations: QE2 hospital, Colchester Community Funeral Home

Geographic location: Halifax, Lower Onslow

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Recent comments

  • Gail
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    A great role model for us all... COMPASSION

  • Mary
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Jim will be missed by so very many people.
    When I think of Jim, I think of his huge grin, his infectious laughter, the twinkle in his eye. Jim was the friendliest person I ever met. I know that everyone is feeling the loss of a very great man. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jim for well over 20 years and it's hard to believe he has passed away. My heart goes out to his family and the community who lost a simply wonderful person.

  • Jon
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    As silly as it may sound, one of my fondest memories as a young boy growing up in Onslow in the late 70s and early 80s was waiting for Jim to come pick up our garbage. I was a Dennis the Menace child and Jim Willis was one of my Mr. Wilsons. I still recall how upset I was when we got switched over to municipality garbage collection.

    Thanks for the memories Jim.

  • Countrygal
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    What a kind, thoughtful, touching thing for Mr. Clark and his establishment to do. The loss of a loved one is so painful and to know others care and share one's pain helps the family's healing process. I neer knew Jim but he must have been one heck of a man and irreplacable to his friends and (obviously) loved ones.

  • Al
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    In the back of my mind,I have a list of truly nice people whom I've met over the years. Jim Willis is on that list, and I want everybody to know that.

  • Richard & Esther
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    What a thoughtful gesture for Inglis Jewellers to do. It's very special to honour Jim in this way. If my wife and I are unable to get downtown in time to inscribe something on that card; we leave this message: Jim you were a good man, an honour to know and our many conversations were enhanced by your positive outlook on life. You don't realize what a generous influence you were on everyone. Condolences to your loved ones.