James “Jim” Hajash

Dec 2, 2017
We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Jim Hajash at his home near Whitehorse on December 2nd, 2017. Jim left this life as he lived it, bravely and with great consideration for those of us he left behind.

Jim was born in 1948 and grew up on his family’s farm in Brooks, Alberta, where he learned all about cows, horses and crops and he remembered even working on a threshing crew as a young boy. His great patience is attributable to the decade plus he spent driving a tractor at 3 miles an hour around the fields. Small wonder that he yearned to grow up and drive a police car someday. He joined the RCMP in 1973 and was privileged to work mainly in the small northern communities where he felt most at home, including Fort Smith, Fort Norman, Tungsten, Teslin, Dawson City, Ross River, and Beaver Creek.

He respected and enjoyed the people he met in those communities and while posted in Teslin, he particularly enjoyed angling with his fishing buddies, Grace Smarch, Jane Dewhurst and Pearl Keenan. Jim’s leadership and his abilities as a policeman were much admired by his RCMP colleagues and as one of them noted, “Jim was the guy you would want to show up at your door when something bad was happening and you called the police”.

He retired in 1998 and spent the next several years working part time as a job coach with Challenge and at the YG shredding room

as his gardening, adventuring and acreage chores allowed. He became a master gardener and enjoyed puttering in the dirt and mentoring others, teaching them how to plant, tend and harvest and providing space in his gardens and greenhouse for them to raise their own crops.

From 1996, Jim and his wife Lee (known to Jim as “Kirk”) trained and raced sled dogs, during the course of which Jim was run into, run over and run away from, but never discouraged. Jim finished well and rescued many a runaway team at sprint races and he and Lee ran a successful dog sled tour operation for almost 20 years. Jim and Lee loved great adventures together and with friends outdoors, camping in remote places, fishing, sheep ‘hiking’, annual moose hunts and pheasant hunts back home in Brooks.

Jim was a wonderful, generous and gracious man who lived an amazing life. He was always ready to lend a willing hand and a strong back and happy to share his knowledge, his stories and his time with others. We are so very lucky to have known him and to be able to

follow his lead.

Jim will always be loved and remembered by his wife Lee, daughters Aaren, Carlene (James) and Meghan, stepson Eli (Marina), sisters

Sandra and Susan, brother Don, grandchildren Jordanna, Jasper and Locklynn, mother-in-law Audrey, brothers-in-law Duncan (Bev), Cam (Cyndy) and Bruce, numerous nieces and nephews, aunts and cousins, and many friends. Jim is also survived by his very quirky pheasant hunting and sled dog, Freya, who adored him and regarded him as both master and servant.

Jim was predeceased by his sister Betty, brother Bill, father Jim Sr., mother Elizabeth, father-in-law Duke, brother-in-law Glen and dear friends Jack Burbidge and Andy Anderson.

We are so very grateful to those of you who have helped us through this hard time through visits, phone calls, cards, gifts of flowers, books, food, wood, offers of assistance and for letting us know how much Jim meant to you. Very special thanks to Meagan Grabowski and James Walton who are a continuing source of moral support and shared labour around our very busy acreage and to Jim’s sister Sue for her fine company and her wisdom.

Jim’s life very much deserves to be celebrated and so a Celebration of Jim’s Life will be held at the Mt. McIntyre Grey Room on Saturday March 10th starting at 2:00 pm. We encourage you to come and share Jim’s stories and memories with us. Light refreshments will be served and there will be a cash bar.

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