James Hill
James Hill

Obituary of James Templeton Hill

James Templeton Hill

December 20, 1935 - April 18, 2023


Died peacefully at home with his best friend and loving partner of over twenty years, Jeannie Thomas, at his side. Also mourned by older sister Barbara (Ralph O’Donnell); daughter Joanne (Peter Harcourt) and granddaughter Breanne MacLean; son Brian (Sherry Stewart) and grandchildren C.J. and Christian Hill and Laila and Amaya Stewart-Hill; nieces and nephews, a grand niece and a grand nephew; and Ruth (Walmsley) Hill. Predeceased by his parents Harold “Hal” and Charlotte Mildred (Maxwell) and by his older brother Kerry (Audrey).


James/Jimmy/Jamus/Jamie/Jim was born and raised in Ottawa (except for Grade1 in Edmonton and Grade 2 in West Vancouver). He remembered his early years in Ottawa in a small house near the Ottawa River where there was an outhouse, wood stoves in the kitchen and dining room, and a metal tub in the kitchen for his bath. As his father was in the construction business, the family moved often, but he had very happy memories of his public school days at Woodroffe, Elmdale, and Devonshire, followed by high schools Fisher Park and Nepean. Hockey and football played an important role in his high school experience. He learned his love for gardens and gardening during his high school years helping his mother plant sweet peas and roses. And he loved his summer jobs at Minaki Lodge (1954) and Jasper Park Lodge (1955 and 1956).


Jim graduated with his B.A. from Carleton College in the Glebe in 1957, then spent a year at the University of Toronto Law School which he thoroughly enjoyed, and would have continued except for the fact of a very young family back in Ottawa. He returned home and completed his B.Comm at Carleton University in 1960 while working at Ortho Parmaceuticals.


In 1960 he joined the Government of Canada Department of Agriculture; from there he took educational leave on an Ontario Teachers’ Scholarship and obtained his Master in Economics from Queen’s University in 1965. In 1966 he joined the Department of Industry and subsequently the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs where, among numerous interesting assignments in the Research Branch, he was instrumental in the development of the symbols under the Hazardous Products Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. During the 1960s he contributed several articles to the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. In these years Jim was a proud junior officer of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, a regular golfer at the Cedar Hill Golf Course and an avid sailor at the Britannia Yacht Club.


In August 1973 he became Commercial Consul at Canada’s High Commission in Melbourne, Australia, and when travelling back to Ottawa in 1975 was named Agriculture Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. Returning to Canada in 1978 he joined the International Section of the Department of Agriculture where he remained until 1983 when he was named Trade Commissioner at Canada’s High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1985 he transferred to the Food and Agriculture Organization in Washington, joining the FAO as a permanent employee in 1989. His work as Senior Economist gave him great pleasure, as did his annual trips to Rome!


He retired from the U.N. at the then mandatory retirement age of 62 and returned to Ottawa in the spring of 1998. In retirement he and Jeannie loved to socialize with friends and travel in Canada and abroad. He held special memories of trips to Ireland (of which he became a proud citizen), England, Scotland and France, and numerous road trips in Canada. He so loved annual winter trips to Victoria until the pandemic struck. Fortunately in 2019 he was able to enjoy a cruise to Alaska, and a land trip from there to Dawson City and Whitehorse, a long-time dream.


Jim had a passion for history and genealogy. He had a beautiful smile, a mischievous sense of humour and was a gentle sweet soul who will be sorely missed. He lived longer than he ever expected to and retained many happy memories of his children, his career, and his travels.


In his last months he received great pleasure from visits with friends from near and far. He was grateful to the doctors and staff at the Jindal Kidney Care Centre at the Riverside Hospital, and the attentive and supportive care he received from Dr. Melini Gupta and her colleagues at Bytown Palliative Medicine, and from Carefor and Bayshore nurses.


To honour his wishes, there will be no public gathering. His ashes will be buried privately with his parents at Pinecrest Cemetery.  If desired, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at colefuneralservices.com.


Share Your Memory of