In the fall of 1968, Jim and his brother Bruce went on a six-month trip to Australia. In the spring of 1969, Jim began working at the Sulfate Plant in Metiskow. He married his first wife Joyce Murray on October 4, 1969. The following year he and Joyce moved to Lethbridge, where he began his Pre-Vet Studies. Then in August 1973, they moved to Saskatoon where he completed his Veterinarian Degree.
After graduating in 1977, he and Joyce settled in the town of Stettler, where he began his work with the Stettler Veterinary Clinic. In the next couple years, his two daughters were born, Brenda and Sheree. Later in life, he was married to Sandra Lee on August 29, 2008.
As he built his career in Stettler and eventually buying into the practice at the Stettler Vet Clinic, he became a prominent member of the community. His involvement in the Rotary Club, Heartland Youth Centre, and 4-H Clubs gave him much pleasure giving back to his community.
He also became more involved in his field of work by working with and eventually becoming President of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association in 1994. He had a key role in the development of the Western Drug Distribution Center and newly released Cattle Vantage Software. In 2010, he was honoured with the WCABP Veterinarian of the Year Award, which was a great accomplishment as he ended his career. In his spare time, Jim enjoyed taking pictures of landscape and scenery, playing cards, curling, spending time with grandson Troy, and enjoying the company of family and friends.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Sandra, his daughters, Brenda of Calgary and Sheree (and grandson Troy) of Stettler, mother of his children Joyce Mailer of Red Deer, his mother Mary Mailer (nee Fossen) of Provost, his brothers Bruce of Calgary, Bryon (Denise) of Cadogan, Karle (Maxine) of Cadogan, Lloyd of Cadogan.
Also, brothers-in-law Bill Lee of Edmonton, Ken (Sandra) Lee of Sherwood Park, Don Lee of Calgary, Jerry (Lill) Lee of Donalda and John Lee of Edmonton.
Sisters-in-law, Betty (Reg) Kowatch of Gander, Newfoundland, Ellen Lee (Jim Johnston) of Ottawa, Laura Lee of Edmonton, Susan Morgenstern of Edmonton, Lorna Lee (Dale Brackenbury) of Edmonton, Linda Lee of Calgary and many, many nieces and nephews.
Jim was predeceased by his father, Peter, his brother David, and his mothers-in-law Dorothy Murray and Marion Lee and father-in-law George Murray.
Funeral services were held at Stettler Community Hall with Reverand Jack Schulze officiating. Mr. Cliff Brown piped the family into the service and the family out at the conclusion of the service to several pieces on the bagpipes. Tributes were presented by his daughters Brenda and Sheree Mailer, Greg Hayden and Darrell Dalton. Pianist Doug McKay played for the hymn Amazing Grace as Shirley McKay led the singing. Several of Jim’s favourite pieces of music were played: Streets of Bakersfield, In the Misty Moonlight and Take Me Home Country Roads.
Family and friends remained at the Community Hall for a time of fellowship, luncheon and refreshments. Memorial donations may be made in Jim’s name to the Stettler Health Services Foundation – Palliative Care or Alberta Cancer Foundation – WW Cross Institute. Condolences may be forwarded to the family at www.stettlerfuneralhome.com