We Remember


March 8, 1936 — June 23, 2019

It is with great sadness but also a tremendous sense of gratitude that we said goodbye to Jim on Sunday, June 23 2019.  After a life well lived, he was at home overlooking the lake, with his family all around him, and listening to his favourite Mozart concerto.

Jim was born, and grew up in Niagara Falls, as the older brother of Linda, and son of Mary and Duane.  He studied Zoology at Michigan State University and went to medical school at the University of Western Ontario graduating in 1963, cum laude.  Most importantly, he met the love of his life, Bitten (fresh off the boat from Denmark) in Sarnia in 1957 where they worked in a lab together, and they married in 1960.

As soon as medical school was finished, they set off for British Columbia, choosing Kelowna as their home, playground, and place to raise their family.  Jim was an “old school” physician who made house calls and delivered his own babies and he had great compassion and dedication to his patients.  He was part of an amazing close-knit team at Group One Medical.

He and Bitten shared a love of nature and a passion for outdoors.  He was an avid fly fisherman (this was truly an artform for him), paddler, hiker, runner, hunter, skier (with style and grace both in champagne powder and on Nordic trails), and in the later years a keen birder.  He was also a student of the heavens – astronomy was Jim’s religion and he continued his quest to study the universe and share his knowledge until his last day.  He helped found the Kelowna chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and was instrumental in establishing the Okanagan Observatory off the Big White Road.

But above all Jim loved his family: His “child bride” Bitten with whom he shared over six decades of love, adventure and partnership.  His three daughters, Kirsten (Scott), Sarah (Ian), and Jenn (Phill), and seven grandchildren (Jake, Theo, Rachel, Grace, Fraser-JAMES, Jacob, and Julian), nephews and nieces in Ontario and Denmark and many grand dogs.  There are many others (you know who you are) who are like family and he loved you all.

Jim was so wise and kind, but for all who knew him his intelligent wit and wicked sense of humour were probably his defining characteristics.  Many of us were on the receiving end of his gentle humour and practical jokes!  Until the last few years, Jim enjoyed a vibrant healthy life.  We are so grateful for the care and compassion of his medical team, especially Dr. Dan Obedkoff and Dr. Richard Hooper.

We will have a Celebration of Life for Jim at Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 1:00 pm at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC. In lieu of flowers, if you wish, donations would be gratefully received for the KGH Foundation, www.kghfoundation.com, or the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Okanagan Centre.  Cheques would be made out to:  RASCOC, 285 Terai Court, Kelowna V1X 5X6

May the skies be clear, the powder deep and the fish plentiful. We love you.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences.”


Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Springfield Funeral Home

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The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Okanagan Centre. Cheques would be made out to: RASCOC, 285 Terai Court, Kelowna V1X 5X6 or KGH Foundation. Link: www.kghfoundation.com


Service Information

Service Details

The service for DR. TISDALE, James M. is scheduled for Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 1:00 pm . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Rd. Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Deirdre and Paul Robinson says:

    Our hearts go out to all of you. It was such a privilege to know Jim and his passing will leave a huge void in the Tisdale clan and so many other peoples lives as well. He will be the newest, brightest star in the sky.

  • Lorraine Isaac and Family says:

    Very sad to hear of the passing of.Dr. Tisdale, he was my family Dr. fron 1970 till his retirement, he delivered both of my boys, well he was late for one, he was a wonderful Doctor and loved by all, his best advice to me while my boys were growing up was’ scars build character ‘

  • Rhea Wiseman says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. Dr. Tisdale was our physician forever and we always enjoyed sharing his fishing and skiing stories. I also had the pleasure of working with him at KGH and having worked in the lab himself, he was always so understanding of our profession. Every new physician should aspire to be like him.. May he rest in peace. We’ll miss him as will so many others.
    With our deepest sympathy, Rhea & Wes Wiseman

  • Jamie Laird says:

    Medical class Wertern 63 always enjoyed the company of Jim .He was respected and was our valedictorian We enjoyed seeing Jim and Bitten at all our reunions
    Best wishes to his family
    Jamie Laird

  • Sylvia Clerke says:

    Dear Bitten and family. So sorry to hear about Jim’s passing. He was a wonderful man. I am sure that he and Paddy are “fishing up a storm” . Take care. Sylvia

  • Chris Blower says:

    To the family so sorry for your loss. I remember him well bustling about St. Paul’s hospital as an Intern,I was a student nurse at the time. Then when we moved to Kelowna in the 70’S .he was my Dr. I had problems with my pregnancies and when I finnnaly carried to full term,it was Christmas . Between the and New Years he phoned me every day to see if I was doing anything,so he could go skiing. He delivered my boy on Jan.4. I tell you this story to let you know what a difference he made in my life. I always wanted to let him know that that baby grew up as an excellent teacher and has influenced many young minds. Dr. Tisdale was a very special person and Doctor.

  • Ann Day and family says:

    To Bitten and family. Our deepest condolences to all of you. Jim was a marvellous doctor who looked after us for many years. He was a great friend and will be missed by many. Sorry for your loss. Ann Day and family.

  • Brian and Pat Warrender says:

    One day we were hiking on Knox and when we got down to his street, Jim happened to be passing by in his car. He rolled down the window and asked if we had the proper ticket…always had a twinkle in his eye & a smile on his face…always put one on ours. Everyone loved Jim.

  • Cliff and Sherrell Davidson says:

    So very sad to hear of Jim’s passing. Jim certainly fought the fight with his heart. We know you did not win the the battle but are smiling down on us with that twinkle in your eye. This will live on in our memory Jim. So many good memories through CONC and spending time til you and Bitten. Our thoughts are with you dear Bitten. We know Jim will live on in your heart and the great memories will help you continue to enjoy hiking ,birding and times with your dear friends. Love Cliff and Sherrell.

  • George & Etta Scotter says:

    Bitten and family,
    We would like to express our condolence on Jim’s passing. We walked many trails together over the years. Jim was a good storyteller and an interesting man to talk with on our outings. While we never went fishing with Jim, we know his passion for that sport from our conversations. A life well lived!

  • Vince Mitton says:

    Dear Bitten, Kirsten, Sarah, Jenn, Families, and to All that knew him….
    My friend, my doctor , my hunting buddy, my confidant. Jim and I shared a very special friendship that spanned many years. A multitude of advice , humour, hunting stories, fishing stories, emotions , support , and advice flowed both ways… It is very difficult to say goodby to this wonderful man. My sincerest sympathy , condolences , thoughts and prayers go out to this beautiful family…love you all
    Vince Mitton
    Big Lake Ranch B.C.

  • Kaye Davidson and Clarence Breitkreutz says:

    We were very sad to hear of Dr Tisdale’s passing he was our Doctor from 1988 until he retired , he had a lot of compassion for his patients . Unfortunately we had not heard of his passing prior to the service or we would have bought his loved matrimonial squares.
    Our sincere condolences for your loss .

    • Sarah Tisdale Heselgrave says:

      Thank you Clarence and Kaye. My Dad sure loved your matrimonial squares! His Celebration of Life is actually not until July 27. We will be serving some of his favourite treats so if you wish to add some matrimonial squares you are most welcome to. Though please don’t feel obligated! ❤️

  • Vicki Oliver says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was our family doctor since we came to Canada in 1967. He was there for three generations, from Dad’s health to the birth of my three children. He was “DR JIM” in our house. We have good memories both professional and personal. He will be missed. Love to Bitten and the girls.

  • Philippa Wynn-Williams says:

    My heart and thoughts to you all. I know that Jim was greeted with a smile, a firm hand shake and perhaps a slightly wicked chuckle up above.

  • Ralph & Liz Ruby says:

    Bitten & family. A somewhat belated acknowledgement of your recent loss. Jim was a great friend and role model during our years in medical school. When we got the chance to ski at Big White we remember fondly his guidance and hospitality. Sorry we will be unable to attend in person the memorial service on the 27th.

  • Ralph & Liz Ruby says:

    Bitten & family. A belated acknowledgment of your recent loss. Jim was a
    great friend and role model in medical school. When we eventually got to ski at Big White we remember fondly Jim’s guidance and hospitality. We will all miss him. Sincerely Ralph & Liz.

  • Reed and the Pozer Family says:

    There is no denying that the Tisdales brought a lot of fun and entertainment into my family’s life. There weren’t many times when we got together where there wasn’t a lot of teasing and laughter…not to mention a few very cold mornings hunkered down in a duck blind or heading out to hunt pheasants. Jim and I shared many outdoor interests together, and he was very patient in teaching me the fine art of duck calling or retrieving a leach pattern along the bottom of a lake. The really cool part of that, was his openness for any questions I might have, where as a young guy, I was too embarrassed to ask someone else. Learning about the birds and the bees was at a whole different level. I taught him well…

    One of the many things we joked about was his “Lake X”. I heard many stories about it, where Jim had to hide behind a tree to tie a fly on the line, where the trout were so big they towed his canoe around the lake (“Monroe” was the fish equivalent of Jim’s Moriarty). There were pictures to go along with the stories which always had a kreel full of nice fish. To say I was envious of this hidden lake would be an understatement. For years he would tease me about taking me there but for one reason or another it never worked out. It wasn’t till I was at university when it finally dawned on me that there wasn’t a “Lake X” at all! Jim would just report going to “it” whenever he had a great day on any lake! There were a dozen Lake X’s! It must have given him great pleasure to watch me twist in the wind. I have many fond memories like that one with Jim. I was pretty sure he only hung out with Dad so he could be around me….that’s my story….

    I will tell you the one very memorable thing he said to me a couple of days before opening morning for pheasants one year. I had been invited by a young lady to a weekend in Calgary where her folks had a cabin on a lake. Well at 19-20 this was very tempting and I was building up to tell Jim I would have to pass on the hunt that year. He looked me straight in the eye and said…”there are only so many opening mornings in your life…choose wisely”! Needless to say, I went hunting. There were other girls and other weekends but only one opening morning. After the fact, I learned that the young woman was a single child and her dad was a multi-millionaire…I forgave Jim anyway… no regrets!
    I know he meant that saying for that particular moment, but it was a saying I kept in my mind and heart for most of my life decisions when there was a difficult choice to make. When I could, I always chose the “Opening Morning”. It has served me well.

    Our entire family have stories like that about Jim. He and all of you were strong and very positive influences in our lives. Not to be forgotten.

    Please accept our most sincere condolences. Knowing he is no longer with us makes this world seem like a smaller place.
    Reed on behalf of the Pozer Family

  • Donna Kneller says:

    Bitten and family. please accept my condolences. I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Tisdale while working at Group One Medical.

  • Joyce Boon says:

    Dear Bitten and family, I was so sorry to hear about Jim’s passing. We were away so I missed the notice and the memorial service. Jim was my doctor for many years until he retired, and I feel so lucky to have known him, and had his care. He delivered one of my babies, and took such good care of all of us. I loved his sense of humour and was sorry when he retired. I hope he was able to enjoy his fishing and his astronomy in the last few years. He was a the kind of doctor that I would like to hold up as an example to all young physicians. His practice was science based and his compassion and caring were incredible.
    Joyce Boon

  • Denise Nahirney says:

    Dear Bitten and family,
    Thinking of you and passing on our deepest sympathy.
    The Nahirney family

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