James (Jim) Francis Sidney
March 1926-January 2020
A life dedicated to making this world a gentler, kinder place and making all aware that we were on “the space ship earth”, of which there is only one.
After a brief illness Jim passed peacefully, 1.5 months shy of his 94th year. Jim was born in the East end of Toronto. He lived in Toronto on “the Danforth” until 24, where he attended the University of Toronto and obtained his BSc. (Honours Science). Jim married Yvonne, his life partner of close to 70 years, in 1950. The newlywed couple journeyed west to the University of British Columbia (UBC) where Jim obtained his PhD in population ecology.
Jim was a founding member of the Wildlife Research Station in Ontario, Algonquin Park and recently attended its 75th anniversary. It was his experience at the research station that he credits as his “entry” into a new world of biological science. His research was devoted to understanding the complex biology of animal populations, his central scientific interest: how is animal density regulated? Grouse were his passion. Jim was a lecturer at Queens University, Associate Professor at UBC, and at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry he was Full Professor and on retirement Professor Emeritus. He was doing the final edits on a manuscript on how moisture in the forest floor affects the incubation of eggs of Spruce and Ruffed Grouse up until the time of his passing.
His commitment to conservation is evident in his list of activities and accomplishments. He was President and founding member of both the BC Natural History Society and the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists. He was Director of the Queen’s Biology Station and the Reifel Waterfowl Reserve in British Columbia. He was key in the acquisition of the Rattray March Conservation Area, and helped in the production of books such as “Nature West Coast” and “Rattray Marsh then and now”. In 2008 he was the proud recipient of the “Champion for Nature” award from the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists. Jim worked with Fred Zwickle to publish “Blue Grouse: Their Biology and Natural History (NRC Research Press, 2004) for which they received the Wildlife Society Publication award in 2005.
Jim notes “Yvonne has been a fundamental partner in everything I have done”. Her passing in March of 2018 was an unbearable loss and Jim’s grief unfathomable.
Jim enjoyed the great benefits of a good home, children and a happily married life. Children in order of origin were Jennifer, Robyn, Sarah, Leah and John. All eventually married with now 11 grand- and 3 great-grandchildren.
He was much loved and will be greatly missed. And thank you to the staff of the Almonte Hospital for helping him pass with peace and comfort.
A celebration of his life will be held at his home in the Spring. For those who may choose to honour Jim with a memorial donation, please consider the Mississippi Field Naturalists.
Funeral Arrangements Entrusted Into The Care Of
C.R. Gamble Funeral Home & Chapel Inc.
(127 Church St., Almonte, 613-256-3313)
Condolences & Tributes: www.crgamble.com