James (Jim) Hanford ESTEY

James (Jim) Hanford ESTEY


Jim was born July 27, 1918 in Williamsburg, York County, New Brunswick, and passed away July 14, 2013, at Stanford Place Care Campus in Parksville.

Jim will be profoundly missed by his wife, Rosemary, along with her daughter Margaret Robins, her two grandsons, Jason Kowalewicz (Bronwen) and daughter Kaelyn, and Ben Kowalewicz (Rachelle), all of Toronto, and friend, Stan Kowalewicz of Courtney, B.C. Jim and Rosemary had lived in Parksville for the last 23 years, and many friends will miss his stories, his intelligence, his considerate and generous nature.

Jim served with the RCAF from 1940-1945 as a Propulsion Specialist. His commitment to the job and the deep friendships he formed during that time left him with a sense of accomplishment and an enduring personal gratitude.

Following discharge from the Military in 1945, he entered into a life of interesting and challenging work. His training had been extensive and he worked first with TCA as a Propulsion Merchant. Later he was with Rolls Royce for 17 years. During that time, he was responsible for investigating various engine problems, including crash sites. Investigations took him to many places, such as Churchill, for several months in minus 40 degrees. On one trip, he arrived at a crash scene in Fort Chimo by dog taxi. An investigation in the Dominican Republic required him to deal with problems such as snakes, wild boars and sink holes. His travels for Rolls Royce took him to many countries: France, Luxembourg, Greece, Turkey, UK, Caribbean, plus others. This work led to additional responsibilities with Air Canada, CP Air, BOAC, Alitalia, Executive Air and others.

At age 65, in 1983, Jim retired for three weeks! Then he was approached by International Air Leases in Miami and became their sole representative in Montreal as Service Manager. Finally, at age 70, Jim retired with Rosemary to Parksville on Vancouver Island.

Jim had been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #49, for many years. He had received the Defence Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal for Overseas Service and the War Medal, 1939-1945. During his working career he received an Award in 1988 from The Grand Lodge of The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers for 25 years of loyal service. In addition, he received awards from both Rolls Royce and Air Canada for years of Service and also recognition on his retirement.

During the last six weeks of his life, Jim was able to compile his memoirs, a true gift to his family and friends. Not only did he have an amazing memory, he had a natural talent for storytelling.

Jim loved Rosemary deeply and together they loved their home here in Parksville. Jim created a parklike back yard that gave one the sense they had entered a tranquil, peaceful, retreat. They loved the ocean and spent many early afternoons parked near the water where they would have their naps.

Special recognition is given to Dr. L. McClure, a friend as well as being Jim’s Doctor. The care both he and Rosemary received in Stanford Care Campus has been exceptional. The Nurses, the LPNs, and all the caregivers were helpful and genuine in their attention to Jim’s needs. He was comforted to know the same wonderful care and attention will continue for Rosemary. He has been deeply grateful for the many friendships formed throughout his lifetime, from one Coast to the other. Internment will take place at Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens.

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