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Funeral Notice: James (Jim) Campbell McLean, 98

Jim passed away peacefully June 9, 2013 at the Rainy River Health Center surrounded by family. He was 98 years old.
Jim McLean was born December 17, 1914 in Brigden, Ont, the third of six children of Sarah (nee Campbell) and John Francis “Frank” McLean. He spent the first 9 years of his childhood in Brigden. His many memories included his family surviving the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-19, moving to Rainy River in 1924 and then to Harris Hill in 1926.
He did not have a long formal education, being held back initially so that he could attend school with his younger brother, Ken. He left school around grade 8, to begin working. He worked in logging, which was done with horses at the time. He also did commercial fishing on Lake of the Woods, with his younger brothers, Ross and Ken. Although, he admitted that in his younger days he preferred riding around on ponies to riding in a boat. His oldest brother, Hubert, did not return from WWII, but the rest of the family continued to live in Harris Hill.
Jim met his wife, Ellen (Lamb), when she came to teach school at the one room school house (Spohn #2) in Harris Hill. They were married August 7, 1958 in Rainy River. They raised 6 children, on a small farm, initially down Kreger Road in Harris Hill, then west of Bergland. Though he had some physical limitations due to a back injury, and had to wear braces to support weakened muscles in his lower legs, much of his time was spent cutting wood for heating and cooking, growing food and raising livestock to sustain a family. He enjoyed reading, playing cribbage and watching hockey on TV. Jim also loved to spend time visiting with family, friends and neighbours. People always knew they were welcome to stop by for a cup of coffee at any time. Jim & Ellen were active in the Bergland Senior Citizens Club, though Jim was saddened to outlive many of his card playing partners.
After his wife’s death in 1996, he continued to live in his home alone, with the support and companionship of family and friends, especially neighbours Oswald Trapness and Allan Johnson. Following his stroke in 2007, Jim was cared for at Rainy River Health Center.
Jim is predeceased by his wife of 38 years, Ellen, brothers Hubert and Clarence “Ken” McLean, sisters & brothers-in-law Annabelle “Anne” (Albert) Kreger, and Violet (John) Nicholas, sisters-in-law & brothers-in-law, Jack (Helen) Lamb, Eileen Lamb, Art (Daisy) Lamb.
He is survived by his children Nancy (Larry) Gamache, Mary (Ron) O’Connor, Dorothy (Terry) Sharp, Tom McLean, Katherine (Jerome) Delorme, and Judy (Gene) Piasta, grandchildren Sarah & Hannah Gamache, Lori, Jonathan, Ryan (Marion), Patricia & Emily O’Connor, Byron & Alexis Sharp, Lindsy, Casey & Adrienne McLean, Breanne, Gabrielle & Riley Delorme, and Halee & Brooklyn Piasta, and one great-grandchild Sierra O’Connor, his youngest brother Ross (Ruth) McLean, brothers-in-law & sisters-in-law, Anna Marie Lamb, Andy Lamb, Gordon (Susan) Lamb, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The funeral was held Monday June 17 at the Covenant Church in Rainy River with Lay Pastor Carolyn Kreger officiating and interment at the Forest Lawn Cemetery, in Rainy River. Pall bearers were Jon O’Connor, Ryan O’Connor, Byron Sharp, Robert Kreger, Don Nicholas and Marty Kreger. Donations may be made in memory of Jim McLean to the Rainy River Health Center, Canadian Heart & Stroke or charity of choice c/o Northridge Funeral Home, Box 89, Emo, Ontario, P0W 1E0.
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