1953 – 2013
James Gerald Thola was born on November 13, 1953 in Bellevue, Iowa, USA. He was the fourth of seven children to the late Raymond and Adele Thola. He spent his early years in Iowa and later moved to Mesa, Arizona with his family for ten years. When he was about 13 years old, his family moved to Canada, they spent the first two years in Vanderhoof, BC and then settled in Groundbirch, BC until a year after his marriage.
Jim loved to travel in his younger days. One summer he joined a carnival and travel with them. Jim also loved to hunt and had a share of his exciting hunting stories. He may not have had perfect attendance at school but he found ways to channel his energy through many miles of walking, jogging, biking, and hiking.
Jim went from many years as a logger and then on to numerous years working for Peace Country Maintenance.
Jim loved his mother so much so that when she was diagnosed with cancer, he devoted his life looking after her until she passed away.
In early 1995, Jim met his wife, Marissa Paco and her lovely daughter Marionne. They got married shortly after, stayed with his dad for over a year in Groundbirch, lived in Chetwynd for almost ten years, and moved one more time to Sooke, BC, where he remained until he died of heart failure.
Jim loved to be around family and loved his nieces and nephews. He spent many hours with them being as much of a kid as they were. He always had such pride in all of them. Jim portrayed a tough exterior throughout his health challenges, he maintained such a positive attitude and was thankful for everything in his life, if you caught him on the right day. He exhibited a great amount of strength and faith through his bad days. It was important for him to be well-groomed at all times and kept an immaculate house.
Our lives are made of both the experiences we have and the people we meet along the way. Jim touched each one of our lives in many different ways, maybe not always in a positive way but he had a kind soul deep down inside and a love that he wasn’t always sure how to demonstrate. Although we will always miss having him near, both our memories and his life will remain with us forever.
Jim was predeceased by both his parents Raymond and Adele Thola and his older brother Tommy Thola and his nephew Ryley Nicholas Smithard.
He is survived by his wife, Marissa Paco Thola, daughter Marionne Lugay, mother-in-law, Roberta Paco, older brothers Leroy (Linda), Dave (Margo), sister Mary-Ann (Ray) Smithard, younger brothers Ken (Beth) Thola, Bob (Brenda) Thola, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held on September 12, 2013 at the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, Dawson Creek officiated by Father Louis Kwena and was inurned in the Sunset Prairie Cemetery, Sunset Prairie.
Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek, British Columbia