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Jim Coats


Jim Coats

Coats, James Douglas

James Douglas "Jim" Coats, 91, passed peacefully on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. He was surrounded by family at the home he shared with his wife Mary in The Village of Riverside Glen, Guelph, Ontario.

Jim was born in 1928 in Winnipeg, the son of Amy Cooper and Douglas R. P. "Darby" Coats. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother John, and his sisters Dorothy and Marjorie.

When Jim left Winnipeg as a young man to find his fortune in Toronto, he found it in abundance – in family and friends. Everyone was welcome in the Coats home, whether in Rexdale, Willowdale or Guelph. A true gentleman and an enormously charming, generous and interesting man, he was always more interested in others, which enabled him to make friends easily and keep them for life. All of those friends, including his best friend Ken Higgs, will be saddened by his passing.

Upon graduation from the University of Toronto in 1952, Jim joined the Canadian Forestry Association of Ontario – later re-named The Ontario Forestry Association – from which he retired in 1994 as its Executive Vice President.

During his distinguished career, Jim was honoured to be Secretary-Treasurer and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Forestry, a Member of the Federal Forestry Minister’s Advisory Committee, and President of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association. Among his many awards, he was recipient of The Queen’s Jubilee Medal, The U.S. Forest Service’s Smokey Bear Award for Fire Prevention Activities, and The Chairman’s Award from The Council of Outdoor Educators. 

As a son of one of Canada’s first radio broadcasters, Jim was a child radio performer and maintained an interest in the history of radio all his life. An avid photographer, reader and traveller, he was also a lecturer at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph, where after retirement he worked for 22 years at Anderson-Coats Photography. U of G students will remember his many kindnesses and wonderful sense of humour.

Jim will be missed every day by Mary, his loving wife of 66 years, and his children Lynne (Larry), Rick (Sandy), Jenny (Bruce), Sam (Peggy), David (Jennifer), Stephen, and Elizabeth. A wise man whose love was unconditional, he was adored by his 25 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and his many nieces and nephews. They will remember and treasure forever his annual Christmas dinner recitation of "In Winnipeg at Christmas."

Cremation has already taken place. A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, July 14, 1-4 PM, in Reid Hall, Recreation Centre, The Village By the Arboretum, Guelph.  

For those wishing to do so, the family requests that donations in Jim’s memory be made to Forests Ontario

Arrangements entrusted to GILCHRIST CHAPEL – McIntyre & Wilkie Funeral Home, One Delhi Street, Guelph, (519-824-0031).  We invite you to leave your memories and donations online at: and they will be forwarded to the family.

Service Date
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Service Time
Celebration of Life from 1-4 p.m.
Service Location
Reid Hall, Recreation Centre, The Village By the Arboretum, Guelph

Requested Charity
Forests Ontario