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Copithorne, James Donovan


Jim Copithorne Headshot - 2x3

Copithorne, James Donovan

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of James Donovan Copithorne on June 1, 2022 at the age of 91 years. James was born on March 19, 1931 in Calgary, Alberta into one of Alberta’s pioneer families. He grew up on the ranch in Jumping Pound and attended schools in the area.

Jim, as he was fondly remembered, spent ten years as a member of the army cadets and reserve army. He graduated school from Western Canada High and worked at Modern Motors in Calgary as a mechanic and in the parts department before moving permanently back to the ranch.

In 1951, Jim married Ruth Fisher, and together they had three sons, Dan, Darryl and Dale. In 1975, he re-married Melba Estby and they spent 47 wonderful years together.

Jim drove a school bus for over 30 years in Rocky View County and safely transported local kids to and from the schools in Springbank. He enjoyed watching the kids grow up and seeing them daily on the bus. He also spent many years devoted to his community as a member of the Lions Club. In 1975 he joined the Bowness chapter, and in 2016 transferred to Cochrane where he was given a lifetime membership. Jim was also a Calgary Stampede Volunteer for 48 years, serving on the Band Committee.  

As a dedicated community member, rancher and western heritage advocate his legacy will live on through his loving wife and family and friends in Alberta and Australia.   

Jim is survived by his wife, Melba; sons, Darryl (Lauri), Dale; granddaughters, Kari, Megan; great grandchildren Kai, Haylie, Wyatt, Kaylee; stepchildren, Karon (Steve), Cherryl, Forrest, and their families. James was predeceased by his son, Dan, and stepdaughter, Shannon Burwash.

At Jim’s request there will not be a memorial service, and the family will honour his wishes. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Cochrane Lions Club (209 5th Ave, Cochrane, AB T4C 0A4), or the Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation (101 RancheHouse Rd, Cochrane, AB T4C 2K8).

Condolences may be left for the family at