We Remember

GRINDLAY, James Murray

January 8, 1923 — October 22, 2014

Jim Grindlay had a knack for side-stepping death. He recovered from childhood Scarlet Fever before the availability of penicillin. He survived combat in WWII, including a head wound from shrapnel. The heart disease that afflicted him in mid-life didn’t stop him. Neither did the colorectal cancer he developed at 89. Nor did the late-life dementia. He didn’t succumb to any of his ailments. He just kept going until he finally wore out at the age of 91 ½.


Jim was born in Kilsyth, Scotland on January 8, 1923. He was the middle of three sons. Unlike his brothers, Jim grew disillusioned with school and dropped out after grade nine. He entered his father’s joinery and construction business, and became a skilled carpenter. But not before slicing off the tip of one of his fingers with a table saw.


At 18, Jim became a soldier. He joined the British army’s Royal Artillery, where he trained to be part of a gun crew.  He received additional training as a radio specialist and vehicle operator. He particularly enjoyed driving heavy trucks and motorcycles. He was first off his landing craft on D-Day. (Not by choice, he admitted).


After the war, Jim emigrated to South Africa where he met Eunice Basketer, also from Britain. They were married in King William’s Town on July 16, 1949. Both were concerned about the unfair racial situation in South Africa, and so emigrated to Canada.


They settled in Chatham, Ontario. Jim established a home renovation business and later a building supply company that both proved successful. He and Eunice raised two sons and a daughter – Jim Jr., Sandy and Maggie – and were active participants in service clubs and amateur theatre.


In September 1969, the family moved to Kelowna, BC. Jim became a cabinetry manufacturer, and again, his natural business skills led to success. When he retired years later, The Federal Business Development Bank employed him as an advisor to local companies.


Jim was a past-president of the Kelowna Capri Rotary Club. He was also an avid golfer and tennis player.


Jim was predeceased by his daughter Maggie in 2005 and by his wife Eunice in 2011. His older brother Charles died in 1989. Jim is survived by his son Jim Jr., Jim Jr.’s daughters Laura and Sarah, his son Sandy and his wife Judi, and Maggie’s daughters Jennifer and Stephanie. Jim’s younger brother, Walter also survives him. 


In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Canadian Cancer Society, the Alzheimer Society of Canada or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


A memorial service will be held November 10 at 1 pm at The Hotel Eldorado, 500 Cook Road, Kelowna, BC.


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

November 10 at 1 pm

The Hotel Eldorado

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The Canadian Cancer Society, the Alzheimer Society of Canada or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


Service Information

Service Details

The service for GRINDLAY, James Murray is scheduled for November 10 at 1 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:

The Hotel Eldorado

500 Cook Road Kelowna, BC


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Funeral Pointers:



  • Judi Grindlay says:

    Jim & Eunice Grindlay

    • Kirsten MacIntyre (Bull) says:

      Jim,Sandy,Judi and family,

      I am so sorry for your loss. Your father was a wonderful man. I have many fond memories of living next door to you all when we were young. Thinking of you all. Sorry that I can’t be there today as I am in the U.S. at present. Lots of love, Kirsten

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Hi Kirsten,

      Thanks for your condolences. In my talk today, I mentioned your dad playing golf with Jim Sr.

      Hope you’re well.


  • Patty Nugent says:

    Rest in Peace Mr.Grindlay.
    What am amazing life story!
    I sense a happy reunion with Maggie and Eunice!

    • Jim Grindlay says:


      Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Yes, I hope dad is now reunited with mum and Maggie.



  • Tim Baxter says:

    Many memories of our families ‘hanging together’, from Mitchell’s Bay, Faircourt Ave. and your farm up north (Bayfield/Goderich area?) Sandy and his survival kits to Jamie bossing us around, and your mom’s grilled cheese sandwiches. Our thoughts are with you at this very difficult time. Sincerely, the Baxter’s.

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for writing. I hope you, Karla and your mum are well.

      Yup, we had some good times. And the farm was at Parkhill, by the way. And please forgive my ‘older brother’ bossiness. Now that I’m no longer taller than my brother, I don’t do it so much.

      Best wishes,

  • Erika Henfling says:

    A life well lived.
    Sincere condolences, Erika

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Erika. As always, you’re very thoughtful.

      I hope you’re doing alright.


  • Douglas Grindlay says:

    Our thoughts are with you at this time. We in the Grindlay family in the UK have very happy memories of our Uncle Jim. I am so glad Imelda and I were able to see him when we were over in B.C. two years ago.

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Douglas and Imelda,

      Yes, I’m glad you saw dad when he was still quite healthy. And it was a pleasure for me to visit with uncle Walter last summer.

      I hope the UK Grindlays are coping with the recent loss of dear Aunt Dorothy.

      Stay well,


  • Mike and Maureen Arens says:

    All the Grindlay family,
    Please accept our deepest sympathy and thinking of you all.

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Mike and Maureen,

      Thank you for your thoughts at this difficult time.

      I hope you and your family are well and enjoying life.



  • Judi Grindlay says:

    World War II

  • Judi Grindlay says:

    young Jim

  • Judi Grindlay says:

    Jim & Eunice Honeymoon

  • Judi Grindlay says:

    Jim in Ontario

  • Judi Grindlay says:

    Grindlay Brothers, Jim, Charles and Walter

  • Judi Grindlay says:

    Jim on Robbie Burns Day

  • Jim Tunks says:

    My deepest sympathy to you for the loss of your father, grandfather and brother. He will be remembered as a cherished business partner and good friend over many years.

    • Jim Grindlay says:


      Thanks very much for your thoughts and condolences. If I may ask, how did you meet my dad, and what prompted you both to become business partners?


  • Isobel & Bob Dow Reid says:

    Our thoughts are with you at this sad time.
    Your dad was a good friend, as was your mum.
    We have lots of good memories of times spent with them. Love Isobel & Bob

  • Jim Grindlay says:

    Isobel and Bob,

    Thank you very much for sharing your memories and condolences.

    I hope you’re both well.


  • Sandy Horiachka says:

    My deepest sympathies go out to all of the Grindlay Family and Friends. How fondly I remember your Dad . He certainly had an amazing life. As Patty has said he will now join his Eunice and his daughter Maggie. How we miss them all. Sandy

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Thanks very much for your kind wishes and thoughts.I’m glad that, through Maggie, you got to know my dad.

      Best wishes,

  • Elsie and Tom MacLaren and Cathryn Forrest says:

    We are very sad to learn of cousin Jim’s death – although we didn’t see him often, we always enjoyed his company on his visits to Scotland. How lovely to see the photos, especially the three brothers. Our thoughts are with you at this sad time.
    Tom, Elsie and Cathryn

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Elsie, Tom and Cathryn,

      Thank you for your kind thoughts and condolences.I’m glad my dad saw you on his visits to Scotland.

      Best wishes to all of you.


  • Heather Allen says:

    I am sad to hear of Mr. Grindlay’s passing. I didn’t know him well but he seemed like an upstanding gentleman. The few conversations I did have with him were very interesting. My thoughts are with the family during this sad time. Cherish the memories with your Dad and Grandpa. Heather Allen

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Hi Heather,

      Thanks for your positive comments about my father.

      And thank you for being an ongoing support and resource to my nieces over the years.


  • Leonard and Janet Camplin says:

    We are sad to learn of Jim’s passing.

    Janet and I have fond memories during the 1970’s, ’80’s and ’90’s in our association with Jim and Eunice through their volunteer work with the Okanagan Symphony and the Kelowna Philharmonic Festival Society.

    Jim served with distinction as President of the Kelowna Philharmonic Society and we remember with affection one of his favourite sayings when summing up the Treasurer’s report “Well, we are in good shape!”

    He will be remembered as a fine gentleman, always willing to volunteer his many business skills, particularly in the Arts.

    Our heartfelt condolences to Jim Jr., Sandy and family.

    Leonard Camplin, CD.
    Conductor Laureate, Okanagan Symphony and Fraser Valley Philharmonic

    • Jim Grindlay says:

      Leonard and Janet,

      Thank you for your detailed account of our dad’s involvement in the Okanagan Symphony and Kelowna Festival Society. We hadn’t covered this in the obituary, so I’m glad you have now.

      Best wishes,

      Jim Jr.

  • David Grindlay says:

    To all the Grindlay family in Kelowna.
    First of all, may I apologise for this late entry-just been occupied after the recent loss of my mother, Dorothy.
    Due to location, I didn’t meet Uncle Jim often in his life.As a young boy, he was my “Uncle in Canada”.I was in awe of living in another country.
    Sadly, the first time I visited Canada was in 2005 to say goodbye to dear Maggie.I have fond memories when Maggie stayed with us back in 1976.
    The history of WW2 has always been a passion of mine. In 2005,despite the sad circumstances, I was able for the first time to sit and talk with Uncle Jim.Physically, he was so like my father, Walter.
    Uncle Jim – you were a true Gentleman.I never knew until then that you landed on the Normandy beaches in June, 1944. I was fully of admiration that you experienced such trauma.I was fascinated to hear your story.
    You certainly lived a colourful, interesting and very successful life.The only Blessing is that you can now be with Eunice and Maggie once again.
    May God Bless you, Uncle Jim
    Your Nephew David

    • Jim Grindlay says:


      Thanks very much for your thoughtful message. I’m very glad that, despite the distance, the UK and Canadian sides of the family have stayed in contact and visited each other.

      You, John and Douglas are no doubt still busy settling your mother’s estate. A painful business.

      Cousin Jim

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