James Arthur (Jim) Askew of Calgary passed away at the Rockyview General Hospital on Sunday, July 3, 2005 at the age of 87 years.
Jim was born on August 1, 1917 in London, England. He was raised and educated there and worked for the Plessey Company during the early years of World War II. In 1941, he enlisted in the RAF, 501 Squadron, as Air Crew, and came to Canada in 1943 for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Jim received his Wings and commission as a
Pilot Officer in Calgary in 1943 and stayed on as an Instructor in the Training Program, training pilots for the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm in Kingston, ON. On January 28, 1944 he married Gwendolyn Howarth of Calgary in Bellville, ON. After the War, James left the RAF and returned to Canada in 1946, going to work for the Howarth family company, the Arrow Lumber Sales. From 1947 to 1950, James, Gwen and son Michael, born August 9, 1948, lived in Guilford, BC, where Jim managed the company sawmill. In 1951, James and family settled in Calgary, building the home that he and Gwen have enjoyed ever since. Also in 1951, James was re-commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the RCAF Reserve with 403 Squadron Calgary, and spent summers on active duty as C ad O at Penhold until 1955. James became a Canadian citizen in 1956 and remained in the RCAF Reserve until 1960.
Following the dissolution of the Arrow Lumber Sales, James worked for the Toronto-Dominion Bank, the Anglican Diocese of Calgary as its Business Manager and for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce until his retirement in 1983. James served as a Governor for the Calgary Aero Space Museum in 1987. For his service to the Air Cadet Squadrons 52 and 538 in Calgary, James was awarded the Air Force Cross. James was also active in the Aircrew Association, The Royal Canadian Legion, The Canadian Fighter Pilots Association, The Air Force Association 738 Calgary Wing, The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association, the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, and the Nanton Lancaster Society. A long-time parishioner at Christ Church in Calgary, James served as Sidesman, Vestryman, Warden, and sang in the choir. As a diocesan layreader from 1967 to 1973, James served the parishes of Christ Church, St. Phillip’s, St. Peter’s, All Saints, Church of the Transfiguration and many other churches in Calgary and the rest of the Anglican diocese from Cardston and Brooks in the south to Three Hills and Trochu in the north. James was a member of the Glencoe Club, where he participated in bowling with his wife Gwen and in tennis and badminton with his son Michael. In retirement, James enjoyed cruising with Gwen, including sailing in the Caribbean, to Alaska, through the Panama Canal, in the South China Sea, and on the Mississippi River, and participating in RAF/RCAF and Royal Navy meetings and reunions. James will be remembered for his forthright honesty, his deference to tradition, and his quiet compassion and charity. Although robbed of the acuity of sight and of mind by Alzheimer’s in his latter days, James was a gentleman to the day he died.
With Jim at the time of his death were his beloved wife Gwen and son Michael. Jim is survived by his wife Gwen; son and daughter-in-law Michael and Leslie Askew of Strongsville, OH; sisters-in-law, Jessie Howarth of Calgary and May Askew of London, England; and many nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren who loved him and will miss him greatly. Jim was predeceased by his father James; mother Martha; brother Henry; and sisters Alice Beven and Eileen Hollows; mother and father-in-law Charles and Florence Howarth; and brother-in-law Charles Howarth.
Funeral Services will be held at Christ Church Elbow Park (3602 – 8th Street S.W.) on Friday, July 8, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. with the Rev. Roy Darcus, Presider. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Alzheimer Society of Calgary, #201, 222 – 58 Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 2S3 Telephone: (403) 290-0110.
In living memory of James Askew, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences