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RACKHAM, James (Jim) Henry

August 19, 1928 – Calgary, Alberta
August 7, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

James (Jim) Henry Rackham beloved husband of Arlis of Calgary, passed away on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at the age of 89 years.

Our Dad was the son of Jim and Mary Rackham arriving during the summer of 1928 in Calgary, Alberta. Born just prior to the Great Depression, life was not easy growing up with two younger sisters June and Pat. Jim was out-numbered until nineteen years later when his brother Doug was born. Life didn’t get easier as he was nicknamed “Cuddles” and being very smart, he skipped grade three. Being a year younger, smarter than your peers and nicknamed Cuddles; it makes sense that Jim ran the 440 yard dash for Western Canada High School.

Jim had many part-time jobs, but after high school he got his chance for a career in the Calgary Oil Patch being hired by the British American Oil Company. Jim married Arlis on May 5, 1956. They had four wonderful children, Susan, David, James and Kenneth. The family loved life on the West Coast fishing, swimming and vacationing every summer on a piece of paradise called Thormanby Island.

Jim was very successful at work and accepted a transfer to Saskatoon for a year, Regina for four months and then on to Calgary. About this time, Jim and Arlis started to see the world including a Mediterranean cruise, Hawaii, Australia, about fifty trips to Vegas and finally enjoying Arizona.

During this time the family was growing. This provided Jim with two items he never had! A Graeme and a Ross. Grandkids! This brought out something in Jim he had been hiding. Graeme and Ross were struggling with Yo-Yos that Susan had given them. Jim said “Let me try that”. He took a few practice rolls and then backed by music showed everyone around the world, walk the dog and rock the baby. Jim was the Yo-Yo man! When questioned by his own kids, (all with their jaws on the floor), “why didn’t you ever show us?” He replied, “you never asked”.

Jim loved to make sure everyone had a good time. The world famous Martini 21 times shaken and not stirred. The ten inch pianist joke he must have told 1000 times. Jim was in heaven when you would meet him for happy hour in Las Vegas followed up with a slot machine tournament.

Jim lived his final years spending his time with his family. Oh and being able to hold his great-grandchild Audrey. Thank you Graeme and Sarah! Now is that living or What!!

A Private Family Service will be held. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Jim Rackham, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Elizabeth Webster

    Dear Arlis and family,

    We’re so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He brought us a lot of smiles here at Lake Bonavista Village and are grateful for the time we had with him. Our thoughts are with all of you.

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  2. Arlis and Family,

    My sincere condolences for your loss.
    I have numerous fond memories of Jim during his visits to New Jersey. The jokes, the happy hours and of course the “Now is this living or What!” quote. Such a pleasure to be around, he certainly lived a full life.

    Dion Rooney

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  3. Rest in peace Uncle Jim. Aunt Arlis and family we are so sorry for your loss.
    Our future trips to Vegas will never be the same.
    Your sister will fondly remember her smart big brother Cuddles.

    Love and God Bless
    Patricia, Keith and Kathy Coskey

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  4. Ken and Family
    So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you all

    Kelly Rooney Poploski

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  5. Joanne Greenlees

    Thinking of you all and remembering Uncle Jim “The Magic Guy”…
    Don’t know why you guys were surprised by his YoYo talents, Uncle Jim always had a trick up his sleeve.
    He is well loved and well missed!

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  6. With heavy hearts, the deepest condolences, we reflect on the many happy memories generated over the past 46 years between the Platts and Rackham families.
    We will miss Jim dearly.

    Platts Family ( Douglas Platts )

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  7. Karen Worobets (Partington)

    Sending my deepest sympathy to you and your family during this difficult time. I’m sorry to hear about your father’s passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  8. Arlis and family,
    So sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Always enjoyed his company and sense of humour. He was truly a “Gentleman”. My thoughts are with you all, keep remembering all the great memories and time you had together.
    Take care.
    Jim Rackham (Son of Leonard and Audrey Rackham)

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