Jim McIntosh's Funeral

Jim McIntosh died on February 3rd, 2014. His body was cremated and a service was held on February 22nd at Knox Presbyterian church in St. Thomas Ontario, near London.

I'd known Jim since the 60's, and of course I went. I took just a few pictures and you can see them here. One note: The pictures were made in high resolution so to see all of each picture you'll probably have to scroll up/down left/right. Most browsers will let you zoom in and out. But if you zoom out far enough to see the entire picture on your screen, the captions on the pictures will shrink as well. Also, there are "prev" and "next" links on the left/ right of the captions, and as you zoom out, they will shrink. But however small they get, they still work.

His brother Ian gave a moving eulogy, as follows...

My brother Jim was born on Boxing Day 1948. I suspect he was a day late, probably causing Christmas Day troubles without being a Christmas baby. It wasn't Jamie's fault though. Mom was usually late, I'm often late, Katherine's late, and I remember being introduced as "the son of the late George McIntosh" although later I learned that had a different meaning. Being late was hereditary, not his fault. His three birth defects weren't his fault either. More on those later.

I wasn't around yet, but apparently he started talking at a typical age, then just totally stopped for a year or two. He always did things his way, and just wasn't really ready to talk yet. When he was, he restarted with complete sentences.

Anyone from farm country will know that most roads have two drainage ditches. Living a mile and a half from school, Jim and I took responsibility for inspecting three miles of ditches twice a day, checking on birds, groundhogs, water blockages, mud, ice and everything else. Our teachers and parents didn't always understand the importance of our scientific research, so one of Jamie's early responsibilities became to teach me Time Management. Neither of us was any kind of management material, so we were often in trouble. Especially him, just for being older.

He always did well in class though. In high school everybody knew Jamie was a genius. (If you're wondering, they all knew me too, as "Jamie's little brother" which was less demanding so safer.) He was smart enough to win 9th place in the Ontario Junior Math Conteest, and a week long trip to University of Waterloo. His missed that due to a very bad case of poison ivy, so later had a one day replacement trip. I got to tag along while a grad student taught him computer programming, and that day both our careers were determined. I'm sure I neglected to do this then, so "Thank you Jim for having all those blisters!"

Jim went, of course, into computer programming. He started in Ottawa, moved to Toronto, and after a few years set up a consulting company MCSI with contracts in North York, Etobicoke, Scarborough, downtown Toronto, Oshawa, Markham and Chicago. He enjoyed the variety of projects and some sounded pretty interesting.

He had joined the Personal Computer Club of Toronto where he really fit in. My friend Les remembers many interesting discussions there with him. He joined their board of directors and was secretary for over a decade, president briefly, and always active helping the club. He also did volunteer jobs like a web site for a church.

His other love (aside from a girl named Sue) was books and magazines, especially Science Fiction, but really everything.

I mentioned him having three birth defects. The first was inheriting a dominant trust gene. He often read a magazine called "The Skeptical Inquirer" but always trusted everybody, including lending small, medium and large amounts of money that he really could have used later but didn't get back. I guess it's better to trust than to distrust, though.

The second was that he always had trouble understanding how others thought and why their views differed so much from his.

And the third was that his mean gene was missing. I can't ever remember him being mean to anybody, not even to me. He just didn't know how. Frequently frustrating, yes, but never mean. That's one reason why almost everybody liked him.

Jim died February 3rd. A few of you will recognize that date, and most of you would recognize the song about it that I heard while driving to the hospital. The words don't all apply, but Jim died on the 55th anniversary of three others:

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that guy used to make me smile
But, February made me shiver, with the trips to Listowel
Then bad news at the hospital - he wouldn't take one more breath
Something left me from deep inside, the day my brother died
   Singing Bye, bye to a real nice guy
   That was the day that he died
   That was the day that he died
And, here we are, all in one place -- frends and family gathered round
With no Jim here with us any more
Celebrate his life, and mourn the day our brother died
   Bye, bye to a real nice guy
   February 3rd was the day that he died
   February 3rd was the day that he died