James Wilson

James William Wilson

1931 - 2023

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Obituary of James William Wilson

Jim (James W) Wilson died peacefully on July 9, 2023, surrounded by loved ones and friends at the age of 91.

Jim, the eldest of 4 children was born October 16, 1931 to Alice (Entwistle) Wilson and James Hamilton Wilson in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is survived by his wife and partner Cathy Sunshine, sister Patricia Wilson, daughter Wendy (John) Doran, grandchildren Miles (Leah) Doran, Travis (Phoebe) Doran, Rory Wilson (Layla), Erin Wilson, Casey (Pete) Hall, three great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Also survived by his step-children Abby Kamensky and Matthew (Marnie) Kamensky, and step-grandchildren Zachary and Ethan Kamensky. Predeceased by his first wife Rosetta and son Jay.

Jim Wilson lived fully in the world. He was a man of all ages.

Jim managed hundreds of engineers in the oil refining business, was a personal fitness trainer, business owner (Good Vibes Fitness), competitive free diver and spear fisherman, tennis player, skier, swimmer, biker, runner, swimming coach and fluent french and spanish-speaking traveler.

He lived in Canada, Florida, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Kuwait, Colorado and loved traveling the world. He hated the Colorado winters.

He knew what he loved and unapologetically went for it, even to the point of his own embarrassment. Made no matter. Once he saw what he wanted, he locked on and, to my knowledge, did not have regrets.

He once told me he hoped to see his mother when he passed, to apologize for being such a naughty (not his word) son. And that he was. He didn't mind being a "bad boy" - mischievous as a kid, and truly saw life as a bowl of cherries, to be played in not looked at.

He didn't suffer fools ... he had great respect for the those who knew their craft, but little to do with those who did not.

He was the most honest person I know and so could be fully trusted. That might have been his motto, but his direct demeanor could be frightening to those who didn't see past the tough and insightful veneer.

He dropped out of school at the age of 16 to find his way in the world.

Joined the Canadian Navy by lying about his age. He served two years then worked with the Iroquois building the bridge between Halifax and Dartmouth Nova Scotia. This is where he met his wife, Rosetta, and married in 1954. They moved to Ottawa where he played defensive end for the Ottawa Roughriders. His 5'9" frame did not hinder his football years. After football he went to work for Sunoco in Sarnia. With knowledge attained working in the oil refinery business, he was a member of a team charged with the creation of Puerto Rico's first Oil Refinery in 1961. He would later return to Puerto Rico in 1970 where he rose to the ranks of

Operations Manager for Sunoco, directing departments of engineers. It was in Puerto Rico where he and Rosetta raised their children, and in addition to his full-time job, he led dive trips, played tennis, coached high school swimming, and won free diving competitions.

Upon Rosetta’s death in 1985 he retired and began consulting. On a lark he agreed to lead a bicycle trip in France in where he met his love and partner Cathy Sunshine. When she asked what they were doing together, he would say: "that's what we guides are for". He locked on to that relationship as he did all other things and began a whole new life adventure living in Denver, Colorado for the past 30 years.

Jim lived a full and adventurous life. He was a strong and vibrant person - generous and loyal. His niece would say that he “had a wickedly delicious sense of humor."

He leaves a big and loving family, and he will be missed.

Services will be held Wednesday, 7/12, at 11:00am, at Temple Sinai. Interment will take place immediately after at Rose Hill Cemetery; livestream available on Temple Sinai's website.

The family will receive condolence visits at Cathy and Jim’s home (2660 S. Columbine Street, Denver 80210) from 3:00-8:00pm Wednesday and Thursday. The Shiva minyan will take place at 7:00pm both nights. 

Contributions can be made in Jim's name to Temple Sinai or Shalom Park.