James L. Whitby
WHITBY, James L. - Died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Thursday, June 2, 2016. Dr. James Lyndall Whitby of London was in his 92nd year. Dear husband and best friend for almost 68 years of Margaret (née Jerwood). Loving father of Elizabeth (Jonathan) in England, Peter (Barb) of Waterloo, and Rachel (Steve) in England. Grandfather of Jonathan (Jaymie-Lee), Peter, Greg and Christy (Kyle) and great grandfather of Brooke and Brie.
Jim emigrated from England in 1971 to set up and head the Dept. of Microbiology of the newly built University Hospital in London Ontario. Also a member of the University Faculty of Medicine, he taught medical, dental, nursing and microbiology students. He subsequently became involved with the gamma irradiation of medical equipment and chaired a committee that developed the international standard dosage for this procedure.
Music was a lifelong passion and he enjoyed playing in Orchestra London Canada (previously London Symphony Orchestra) for 20 years. Many holidays were spent in Europe attending Opera performances and seeking out antiquarian music that was no longer available in print. Most of this music is now in Western’s Music Library. One of his greatest pleasures was playing string quartets from this collection at home with Margaret and friends.
The family is extremely appreciative of the professional, compassionate and dedicated care and support they received from many specialists and home care teams.
A memorial gathering, with reception to follow, will be held at Harris Funeral Home, 220 St. James St. at Richmond, on Sunday, June 12 at 2 pm. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Jim are asked to consider Western’s Music Library, London Community Orchestra or any charity of their choice.
James Lyndall Whitby was born in London, England April 26, 1925 first born son of Lionel and Ethel Whitby. He was pre-deceased by his sister Barbara and brothers Gordon and David. He and his sister Barbara were very close and Jim was asked to speak at her funeral in North Carolina two years ago. Jim spoke about the importance of family and supporting one another. He took a special interest in Barbara's sons Lionel and Christopher and their families.
Jim always enjoyed getting together with his cousins, nieces and nephews on both sides of the family. My cousins have written to me about their Uncle Jim or Uncle Jimmy as they called him. They speak of how he was larger than life, someone that they enjoyed having around, someone who played the piano at their homes, or music at their weddings. His namesake nephew James Whitby, has written "I'm really sad it's the end of a generation".
For my sisters and myself what was it like growing up? Not always easy, and we were not always the easiest of kids. We knew dad was caring and always wanted the best for us. He tried to discipline us but we were not easy to catch and by the time he did the situation had settled.
For the grandkids and great grandkids they have memories of numerous golf games, swimming in London, watching gramps nap at the dinner table and him being a good sport when they brought over the woopie cushion.
We have so many stories and memories so I hope if you close your eyes during the playing of some of Jim's favourite music some of your own memories may come to mind.
- Peter Whitby
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