James 'Jim' Alexander MacChesney 1943-2021
A musician at heart, nature lover, outdoorsman and retired boilermaker (Local 73), James "Jim" Alexander MacChesney’s love of life didn’t come to an end with his death. Born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, 78 years ago, sharing his birthday with his mother, Jim peacefully passed away on Friday, March 12, 2021, at his home in Havendale after a brief and courageous battle with lung cancer. He was surrounded by his family who will continue to honour his legacy by living life to its fullest.
Jim grew up in Port Shoreham near the coast of Chedabucto Bay which provided him with a strong love of Nova Scotia and being close to the sea. A story he always loved to tell was when he and his sister were young a large flock of waterbirds (dovekies) became stranded after a hurricane on a hill close to their coastal home. Being waterbirds, they could not take off from land. His younger sister Eleanor and him picked up each dovekie that they could, took them to the beach, threw the birds up in the air and watched them fly out to the ocean. There were so many birds to save and only the two of them but this event sparked a lifelong interest in nature and birdwatching.
The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Jim – he had an uncanny ability to find happiness in his daily activities which included reading his favorite books and magazines and finding new ways to organize them all. He also enjoyed going on drives to his favorite places with his much-cherished wife Irene in his home province, exploring Cape Breton and hiking trails, finding beauty in local scenery and wildlife. Jim has seen most of Canada from the Atlantic coast in Newfoundland to the Pacific coast of British Columbia.
In recent years, Jim was a tried, tested and proven Ford car lover. When he was younger having the fastest car, snowmobile or motorcycle gave him the greatest joy. Age did not dim his interest in everything that had a motor. That curiosity and admiration for motorized vehicles will live on in his son and grandsons. Jim earned and displayed many prize trophies from snowmobile races of yesteryear which took place on frozen lakes around Boylston, sadly frozen lake snowmobiling is a thing of the past.
Other hobbies of Jim’s were gun collecting and tinkering and hunting. Neighbourhood buddies would come to Jim’s house because of his special touch for sighting and reloading their guns. Many hunters owed their good hunting seasons to Jim’s perfectionist care of their guns. Many moons ago when living in Manchester, target practice was a weekend family event to see who could get closest to the bull’s-eye – which, of course, was always "Dad".
Fishing season was always a source of great excitement and a favorite activity. Always getting the biggest fish, having the latest flies, gadgets and equipment, Jim found many interesting ways of keeping the blackflies and mosquitoes away without using insect repellent.
Being a lover of country music, Jim often strummed and picked on his guitar. He took particular interest in making sure his Yamaha was always in tune and enjoyed kitchen parties with his daughters and granddaughters.
Jim’s pleasant personality was contagious to everyone he met and he took much pride in each of his children’s and grandchildren’s accomplishments. Christmas was always a special family time for Jim. He always made decorating the Christmas tree the center of the season and it was always decorated perfectly. He was excited as a child would be for Christmas morning to arrive, making a special breakfast and opening presents. The best pancakes were always made by "Dad".
Jim was predeceased by his mother and father, Hilda Brown (Taylor) and Courtney MacChesney. He is survived by his wife, Irene (Dort); his daughters, Sheila (Paul) Uffindell, Halifax; Dolena (Jay) MacPherson, Salt Springs; and his son, James (Kimberley) MacChesney, Timmins, Ontario; step-sons, Jeffrey (Krista) Luddington and Norman Luddington. He will be missed by his grandchildren, Kyle (Katie), Korey, Hollie, Jenna (Spencer), Ethan, Devon, Chloe, Kasara and Sophia; and his great-grandchildren, Gianna, Maelle, and Evy. Jim will also be deeply missed by his sister, Eleanor (Dryden) Fairbairn and niece, Allison (Sean) Sinclair, and grandniece and grandnephew, Sarah and Malcolm, all of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and his close friends and brothers-in-law, Hartley (Elaine) and Frank (Dianne) Dort.
There will not be a public memorial service but rather a private family celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Guysborough Hospital Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the care of Dennis Haverstock Funeral Home, Guysborough. Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at: www.haverstocks.com
Sleep soundly Dad (Papa) – you will be missed.