James “Jim” Michael Neelin died peacefully in his sleep December 7, 2023 having recently celebrated his 93rd birthday with family. He will be greatly missed by his daughter Lisa (EJ), sons Peter (Kim) and David (Kerry), and daughter-in-law Lyndal. He was preceded in death by the love of his life and wife of 70 years, Elisabeth “Betty” Neelin and his son Michael. Jim will also be missed by his grandchildren Beth, Rebekah, Gevie (Cam), Gwen (André), Rachael, Ben (An-Le), Mikhaela, Anna (Gideon), Liese, Zane, and Gregg, and great-grandchildren Nora and Margot Robinson, Iris Goddard, Robyn and Michael Evans, and Athena-Noelle Scott, and remembered with affection by his friends and former students and colleagues.
Born in London, Ontario, and raised in Port Arthur, Jim did his undergraduate and doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, where he met Betty. After some years in Halifax, they moved to Ottawa, where Jim worked as a biochemist at the National Research Council, becoming an expert in blood proteins. He then moved to Carleton University as Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology and later served as Dean of Science. Among the research publications he remembered with particular fondness were those he coauthored with Betty. He also came to be an avid collector of early Canadian science books and was a dedicated amateur genealogist and family historian. Jim was an enthusiastic outdoorsman and canoeist and fond of the camping spot and eventually cottage on Patterson Lake where his family spent summers. He blamed his penchant for tall tales on his youth fighting wildfires in northern Ontario. He made no excuse for his puns. Memorial Donations to Knox Presbyterian Church Ottawa or Centretown Community Food Centre are welcomed.
A memorial service will be held at Knox Presbyterian Church Ottawa, where he and Betty were longtime community members, January 6, 2024, 1:00pm. For those unable to attend in person, a live stream option will be available at https://www.knoxottawa.ca/live or on the tribute page located at www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com.
Knox Presbyterian Church Ottawa—Donate
Centretown Community Food Centre—Donate