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DUFORD, James Matthew (JM)

June 4, 1950 – July 23, 2018

On Monday, July 23, 2018, James Matthew Duford (JM) of Canmore, Alberta passed at the age of 68 years.

JM was born in Rochester, New York. Attended Williams College and the University of Calgary. After a family trip across country in 1967 and a college internships in Colorado, he fell in love with the mountains of the West. Never afraid to take on a new or challenging adventure he met a lot of fantastic people along the way. Becoming part of the mountain community in Canmore was a life dream for JM. He was grateful for his friends, neighbors, and Life Works gym, who helped him make it his home and coworkers at Potts Petroleum who gave him a great work life balance. Always the Geologist, for those who biked, climbed or skied with him they will surely miss the sense of wonder he brought to each outing, solving the mysteries of the earth. May his boundless enthusiasm for the outdoors continue to live on through his family and friends.

He will be lovingly remembered by his son Kyle and Mary Jane; granddaughter Beatrice; brothers John and Paddy, William and Marianna; sister Catherine and Corey Schoonmaker; as well as many friends, especially Louise Taylor of Calgary.

He was predeceased by his parents John and Mary Ellen Duford.

A celebration of life will be held at Canmore Opera House (400 Spring Creek Drive, Canmore) on Sunday, August 12, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. Please RSVP to Monica Hardy via email. (

If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Rocky Mountain Adaptive, (403)-431-1354, 2-201 Carey, Canmore, AB, T1W 2R7, Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of JM Duford, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. CALGARY, AB, T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Beverley Bauer

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Matt’s love of spending time in the outdoors in every season was very inspiring.

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  2. Wendy Mitchell

    I am shocked and sad to read that an indomitable spirit has passed from this world. Known to me as Matthew, JM and I met at UofC. His love of the mountains was absolute. Our paths merged for a time as we shared adventures from Alaska to the wildflower fields of Yoho, where his diligent prep was comforting and his unabashed love of discovery inspiring. May he now be in a place of unimaginable beauty and glorious adventure.

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  3. Jeff Ahrendsen

    It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all kids on Oakview Drive. Time goes so fast. We always looked up to Jim/Matthew as he seemed older and more mature beyond his years. My condolences to his son and his family and to his Siblings. I’ll always remember the Duford family as a family I always looked up to. God bless all of you.

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  4. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our graduation from Irondequoit High School this weekend we will be sadly missing a cherished classmate. Jim was loved and respected by so many.
    I have many memories of growing up with Jim and they are all incredibly vivid. He was just that kind of a guy. Someone that you will never forget. Someone who left a real impression on you.
    Whether it was teaming up with him to win the Camp Gorham canoeing trophy in the Adirondack Mountains, skiing at Bristol Mt. where he encouraged me to exceed my expectations, or obsessively practicing lacrosse in anticipation of the upcoming season, Jim was a loyal friend and always fun to spend time with. I will miss him but it puts a smile on my face knowing that he spent his life doing what he was born to do.
    My sincere condolences go out to Jim’s son and family and of course to John (Jack), Cathy, and Bill and their families.

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  5. Eileen Odegaard

    May he rest in peace.

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  6. Janet (Jan) Morrris

    My deepest condolences to all of you.

    Matt was a guy who I met while paragliding in Golden BC. He loved the great outdoors and the mountains were his happy place, no matter what sport he was doing. He always had a smile on his face and was always ready to go… Keep those mountain adventures going, Matt. I know you will be flying high above them in the greatest thermal ever…

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  7. Patricia Sampson

    My sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to JM’s family and friends during this difficult time. I have personally found comfort in the words at Acts 24:15 where it tells us, “There is going to be a resurrection”, and that soon God will “wipe out every tear” from our eyes. (Rev. 21:4)

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  8. I only just now read this obituary for Jim- I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I knew him as a student geologist at Williams and was looking him up to see where he “landed”. A couple years ahead of me, Jim was a great teacher and helper in the field in Colorado at our field camp- I was just reading old journals of all our days there so many years ago. I remember him as always a happy optimist and am saddened to know he departed so early.

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