James Harvey Blackshaw was born April 20, 1953, to parents Harvey and Bernice Blackshaw in Virden Hospital, the youngest of four children. He had two two sisters and one brother, sisters Muriel
and Doris, and brother Ken.
He enjoyed growing up and helping out on the farm, and especially enjoyed his horses. He was a happy boy and liked being across the road from his Uncle Earl and Aunt Mary, and cousins Robert, Brenda and Brian. He and Robert especially were great friends and companions. Jim and Robert loved to play cards against Uncle Earl and Aunt Mary, especially 500.
Growing up, Jim attended a one-room school at Pacific, then Virden Junior High and Virden Collegiate. Jim’s favorite part about school was recess, baseball, and playing football in Grade 9. He was not a scholar and started working at Virden Auction Mart at the age of 15, before he had a driver’s license.
Jim started riding his bike to the auction mart to work, but then his friend and coworker Ken Day would pick him up and give him a ride. Soon he left school to work full time. Once Jim was old enough to drive legally, he went to work trucking for Virden Freightways, later TransX, where he really enjoyed driving a big rig. Jim started travelling to Souris with his Griswold friends and soon met Eva Denbow. They started
dating and were married on November 24, 1973, in Souris, Manitoba. They started their lives together renting Leo Gabrielle’s little farmhouse. In October 1974, they purchased their quarter section, NW 16-9-25, from Paul and Bertha Kernel at Routledge, Manitoba.
They also bought 12 cows from Paul and Bertha, and had six more, including Eva’s cow, a wedding gift from her parents. Jim and Eva enjoyed their new community at Routledge. John and Diana
Janzen, George and Phyllis Sims, and Ross and Shirley Gabrielle welcomed them.
They were all good neighbours who helped each other out. Soon, Randy and Wendy Franke also joined the community. Jim then went to work for PetroCan garage in Virden. Following that, he started to work for John Janzen and Dave Judd, local neighbourhood farmers and Jim farmed as well. He returned part time to Virden Auction Mart. He also worked part time for Freeman’s Meat Market and Sims Trucking.
Jim’s first child, Neil James, was born April 10, 1980, and Jim was thrilled. Daddy’s little girl, Terri Dawn, arrived November 9, 1982. Jim loved playing with and teasing his kids. He enjoyed their MGRA and fair activities, as well as high school rodeo trips with the kids. He liked taking them skidooing, going on trail rides with family and friends. He enjoyed the bonfi res and the socializing. He participated in
some Ranch Rodeos with Neil, Mike and Frank Denbow, and team penning on occasion.
Jim and Eva enjoyed their farm life working together. Neil and Terri rode in the tractor with Jim a lot, and it was even better when they were old enough to help out on the family farm. Everyone had a job in haying time and worked together. This was important to Jim.
Jim started full time work as the yard foreman at Virden Auction Mart in 1982. He remained at Virden Auction Mart, or Heartland Livestock, until his passing. He loved his work there. He was a dedicated and hard-working employee. His favorite job was Marketing Rep, when he visited the area farmers and looked at their cattle on the farm. He enjoyed his Heartland family of co-workers, as well as comraderie
with the livestock producers, buyers, and truckers. He felt the farmers’ pain when BSE hit and the prices were horrible, and he especially enjoyed the results of recent sales when the market was higher. Most people were impressed with Jim’s ability to guess cattle weights. He had an eye for cattle.
Jim was a teaser and loved to tease, especially the girls, whether they were two or 102. He had a good sense of humour and a quick wit, and was good with the one-liners. He had a way of getting his opinion across, like it or not. He was not afraid to say what he thought. His good-natured teasing often included nicknames he gave to people. Some would say Jim was stubborn, or gruff.
Jim’s hobbies included his horses, hunting, skidooing with family and friends. He thoroughly enjoyed the deer hunting with his son Neil and the extended Denbow family, as well as happy hour at Frank’s. He won the Denbow family deer hunting trophy once. In recent years he also took up fishing and especially enjoyed fi shing with Terri and Darryl. Jim loved his old vehicles. He was proud of his 1969 GMC truck
that he fixed and restored, as well as his 1972 Dodge Demon, which he bought when he was 18, and recently restored as well. To everyone’s amazement, it survived Jim’s wild youthful driving and was still around. He enjoyed showing these vehicles off at car shows in Manitoba and also in North Dakota.
Jim was a social person and he enjoyed playing cards or Crokinole, or just visiting over coffee with family and friends. He could be a jokester at times. Jim and Eva had some great trips, one with Neil and Terri
to California, one to New Zealand to see Terri when she was on an agricultural exchange. They had some wonderfully fun times with Brenda and Delnor Davies on trips to Hawaii, Florida, Las Vegas, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic,and several to Mexico - Jim’s favourite.
In 2006 Neil and Alysha Flannery were married and Jim was happy to become a father-in-law. He was impressed with how Alysha adjusted to farm life. In June of 2007, Jim was thrilled and excited to become a grandpa when Kolten James was born (and the Blackshaw name continues). Shane Brent followed in 2009, and Julie Ada in 2011. Bradley Munro joined the family as a grandchild in 2014. Jim loved and
enjoyed his grandchildren and liked to tease them. He was proud of all of them and always happy to see them.
Jim became sick a couple of years ago, and it was a hard time for the Blackshaw family as Neil was critically ill. Jim agreed to do dialysis for his girls and his grandkids. He wanted to be here to walk his girl down the aisle, which he did when Terri and Darryl were married August 9, 2014.
Jim died April 5, 2015 in Brandon Regional Hospital. He was predeceased by his son Neil, by his parents Harvey and Bernice Blackshaw, and by Eva’s parents Alvin and Buddy Denbow. He is survived by his wife Eva, his daughter Terri and her husband Darryl Munro, by his daughter-in-law Alysha Blackshaw, and his grandchildren Kolt, Shane and Julie Blackshaw and Bradley Munro. He is also survived by his sisters Muriel (Tom) Brown, Doris (Garry) Mauthe, and his brother Ken Blackshaw.
The Denbow family includes brothers-in-law Jim and Lori, Frank and Debbie, Glenn and Katherine, and sisters-in-law Doreen and Ken Ross, Lorna Eastman and Grant Burson, and Marlene and Norm Cory. He
also has many special nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A graveside funeral service was held April 9, 2015 at Virden Cemetery, followed by lunch at Heartland Livestock, Jim’s home away from home. Offi ciant was Diane Janzen and eulogist was Ryan Gabrielle. Jim made his last ride in his 1969 GMC truck, driven by his son-in-law Darryl and accompanied by Terri and Eva. Ironically, Robin Hill was on the radio with the Heartland Market Report. Ryan also drove the Demon with some of the pall bearers. Pall bearers were
Ken Day, Murray Stewart, Alvin Radcliffe, Randy Franke, Brian Blackshaw, and Michael Denbow. Ushers were Delnor Davies and Robin Hill.
It’s not the end of the trail for me, I’ve just traveled on you see, up ahead where greener pastures grow and cool water streams dance as they fl ow. Flowers in bloom of every sort and kind, colours more vivid than any I left behind, family and friends I haven’t seen in years, hugs and handshakes and no more tears. They’ve welcomed me home here today, a place of peace for me to stay. They say it’s my home for eternity.
No, it’s not the end of the trail for me.
Until we meet again!