James (Jimmy) Michael Joseph Sr. (GGHUNAW’UMGHUN) Spookwx House
Feb. 27, 1923 to July 08, 2011
After a life filled with many accomplishments, James, at the age of 88, passed quietly in his sleep at home. He had a heart condition and was recovering from an associated complication. During this long life span, James experienced a myriad of changes that impacted on lifestyle including the great variety of technological marvels which he embraced.
James spent a lifetime working in canneries in Prince Rupert and other locations, on fishing boats, in family owned sawmills, horse logging, and on farms throughout the Smithers area. James was an accomplished self-taught guitarist, banjo player and ukulele player. He said he often travelled with a Band and went to other Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en communities. He talked of travelling and hunting by horseback with his uncles in the Takla and Babine areas. He worked many years for the Bell Pole Company and while employed there he was the operator who installed the man-made neon totem pole for the Totem Café. He spent his later years working for the CN Railway. He always displayed an excellent work ethic and admired and respected those with similar values. During his “retirement” he spent a brief time as a bus monitor for the Coast Mountain School District and then after this experience he officially retired.
James spent his spare time repairing bicycles for his many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He enjoyed repairing small engines for his family and friends. Another hobby of his was repairing watches which he loved giving as gifts to his grandchildren and children.
He was very active with both the family garden and the family fishing season – he called himself “the side walk superintendant.” He loved to travel – his nickname was the “Wanderer” which he proudly displayed on his truck’s bug deflector – and often took part in the Elders’ trips. He loved to cook and relished the family barbeques.
We will enjoy the many lessons and life experiences he left with us but we will miss our coffee time with him and the many stories he told us about his younger days.
James is survived by his daughters: Carol (Klaus) Eichstaedt, Peggy (Garry) Underhill, Audrey George & (Raphael West), Angeline (Rick) Harris, Brenda Austin & (Calvin Smith), Hazel Culver, Vivian Rose Joseph & ( Ed Anderson); His sons: James Michael Joseph Jr., & (Vera Dominic), Roddy (Joanne) Joseph, Harry (Delores) Austin, and Jamie Kelly Joseph. He had numerous grandchildren and nieces, nephews, cousins. All of his sons and daughters believe that he was the perfect role model for all family members.
We will forever be thankful for all the support, care, love and home he gave us. It was his final wish that the younger generation take on more responsibility, further develop their independence, and work harder to develop the Hagwilget community of which he was so proud.
The family acknowledges all the prayers, cards, telephone calls, food, support, monetary support, visits and hugs from all the family and friends. We love you all. His funeral was on July 12 and the internment on July 14.