Obituaries

James "Jim" Alexander Wald

August 06, 1937 - November 17, 2022

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Obituary For James "Jim" Alexander Wald

James “Jim” Alexander Wald, passed away suddenly on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital, at the age of 85 years, due to contracting Covid and a resulting Kidney failure.

Jim was born in Cremona, AB, August 6, 1937, to Peter and Elizabeth Wald. When he was young, the family moved to Winfield, AB, where his parents opened up a small store called ‘Wald’s Meat and Grocery’. While growing up, Jim enjoyed helping out after school at whatever chores needed to be done, and working at the grocery store. He attended junior and senior high school in Winfield and worked at various jobs in the area. In 1959, he met Ev Wegner, and in 1960 they were married in Edmonton, AB.

In the fall of 1960, Jim and Ev moved to Grande Prairie. Jim did some welding for Bill Rutberg, and the same winter worked for Earl and Anne Johnson (his brother in-law and sister). In 1961, he purchased his first truck, and hauled lumber for the Oilund’s; Issac, and Esau, and the Hansen and Reynolds Mill.

In 1966, he partnered with Le and Anne Sauder, purchased his second truck, and formed Timberline Haulers. Jim worked for 12 years hauling wood for Canfor, where he worked with Chris Anderson and Bill Manary.

In 1968, Jim and Le formed a new company called Norwood Disposal. That year Norwood Disposal bid a job for the City of Grande Prairie, which was continually renewed for 17 years. Also, beginning in 1968, and for five years, the log trucks were converted every summer into gravel trucks. From May to November every year the family would move to the Yukon, between Whitehorse and Dawson City. The gravel contract was with Ernie and Grace Lobe, of E. Lobe Contracting, and consisted of straightening sections of the Alaska Highway.

In the 1970’s, Timberline Haulers sponsored Tommy Sinclair for 8 years, racing his chuck Wagon. Tommy won several awards, and in recognition, presented Jim with an exact miniature 2-foot long chuckwagon, which Jim cherished as a special souvenir.

In 1974, Jim and Le were offered a contract with Proctor and Gamble and later Weyerhaeuser. The contract for Timberline Haulers and Evergreen Loading was continually renewed for 22 years, until 1996. The partners in Evergreen Loading were Carl and Sonja Oilund, and Lester and Alexa Oilund, who both retired around 1984.

Jim joined the Masons in the 70’s, and also joined the Shriners and the Grande Prairie Rotary Club in the 1980’s.

Jim and Ev also enjoyed Club 54, a dance group of 108 members, and attended every third Saturday of the month, downstairs in the Golden Star Restaurant. They would dance to the Swinging Doors Band, and Jim became a very good dancer (much to his chagrin).

Jim encouraged both Greg and Grant to find their own work independently, and he was extremely proud that they would both become Professional Engineers.

In the early 90’s, Jim partnered with Gord and Pearl Fee, and obtained the contract for the Grande Prairie Public School Bus program to transport students and hockey players. The contract was renewed annually for many years, and the bus company was sold 12 years later.

In 1996, sons Greg and Grant took over Timberline Haulers, and four years later purchased Reco Construction and All Peace Asphalt. In 2000, Darren Dowling, an engineer friend of Grant’s from Edmonton, joined Greg and Grant as a partner in Reco Construction.

Jim enjoyed his work and would often comment ‘what a great journey in life he had’. One week earlier he was driving to work daily, and at 85 years old was usually seen running Reco’s large D7 Cat, typically between 4 to 6 hours a day. Up until he got sick, he always enjoyed going to Reco every day, and helping out in whatever capacity he could.

Jim’s hobbies were: working, hunting, and fishing with his best friends. He enjoyed his time with his hunting trailer (which he called ‘Chateau Atco’), and the river boat. He also enjoyed pulling the boys and their friends water skiing with the lake boat, which he named after his favorite song, ‘The Gambler’, by Kenny Rogers. One of his other favorite songs was ‘Islands in the Stream’ by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Ev says, “Our journey through life together was great.” as Jim was always willing to try something new. He enjoyed the trips to Jasper, AB, and Banff, AB, skiing, golfing with friends in California, USA, and his membership in the Grande Prairie Golf club.

Jim’s contributions to the community included donations to the QEII Hospital, The Grande Prairie Regional Hospital, Northwestern Polytechnic (formerly The Grande Prairie Regional College), Rotary, the Salvation Army, the Stompede, Bill Bowes for the 1995 Winter Games, the Grande Prairie Ski Hill, the Grande Prairie Golf and Country Club, and Trinity Lutheran Church. Jim was also a lifetime member of the Wapiti Shooters Club, which he received in recognition for building the original road through the trees and clearing trees for the Club House area.

For over 20 years Jim and Ev enjoyed travelling around the world, especially around Canada and the USA in their motorhome, and spending their winters at their second home in California.

Jim leaves to mourn his wife Ev, of 62 years; sons Greg, and Grant (Linda); granddaughters Jennifer, and Kelly (Callum Henry); sister Anne Johnson; as well as nieces, nephews, brothers in-law, and many good and special friends

Jim was predeceased by his sisters Caroline and Adeline.

Our family would especially like to thank Alberta Health Services, EMS, and the Fire Department for their assistance, caring, and concern during Jim’s final days. A special thank you to Dr. Dingeldein and Dr. Keegan. We would also like to thank Dr. Bertozzi, for his concern over Jim’s wellbeing.

A cremation will be held, as per Jim’s wishes, and there will be no funeral.

As Jim would say “I did it my way”.

Blessings to all,
Love: Ev, Greg, Grant, Linda, Jennifer, Kelly, and Callum.

If you wish to donate in Jim’s name, to the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital (11205 110 St., Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 4B1), we thank you.

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Condolences

  • 11/26/2022

    My wife Carolyn and I first met Jim and Ev in 1981 in the swimming pool at 214 Place in Grande Prairie. I had just transfered to Grande Prairie with the RCMP and the Walds became our first close friends. Jim loved children and always treated our 2 little girls like his own grand kids. Over the years Jim and I have countless great hunting trips where we would spend hours talking around a camp fire drinking "2 buck chuck". Carolyn and I loved traveling with Ev and Jim. Jim always had lots of great ideas and was not afraid to try anything. He was a mentor to me in many ways. Jim was a humble, self made man that could figure out and build anything. I could listen to his inspiring stories for hours on end and was always in awe of how one man could do and accomplish some much in 85 years. I talked to Jim 2 weeks before he passed and he was upbeat and very happy to be filling and leveling gravel in low spots in RECO's yard with his D-7 cat. In my view they don't make men like Jim Wald any more. Jim's word was his bond and whatever he said he meant. I'm going to miss my old buddy Jim but will always remember the good times we had on earth and the better times we will have someday in heaven. My sincere condolences go out to Ev, Grant and Greg. Bruce Barkley

  • 11/23/2022

    Sending sincere condolences from Garry & Sheryl Lokseth.

  • 11/22/2022

    Our condolences to Ev, Greg, Grant and family. My parents lived in the same cul-de-sac with the Walds for a few years, and were very much honored guests at the Golden Star, when it was owned by my dad, big Jack and his partners. i always try to catch up with Greg when he comes in. Peter Wong

  • 11/22/2022

    Big hugz to you and yours on Jim's passing. He will be greatly missed. I Hope he's having a cup of coffee with my dad. Thinking of you.

  • 11/22/2022

    Went to school with Jimmy. He was always a bright light in the classrooom smiling and positive,liked by everyone and always involved. Good memories. . Vance and Darlene Smith

  • 11/22/2022

    Dear Ev and family: So sorry to hear of Jim's abrupt passing and as I am out of the country again am unable to extend my condolences in person. Son Greg across from your home has sent me the obituary. Such a loss of a lovely person. Ev I will visit you when I return to Grande Prairie. It is truly devastating for you. Best wishes, Marilyn Paterson

  • 11/21/2022

    Ev and family I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I will always remember his kindness to me. He had a strong love for you Ev and a deep affection for his family and friends. You had a wonderful journey in your 62 years together through hard times and really good times. That is such a blessing and gives you so many precious memories. I loved my time in Palm Springs getting to know Jim better and will always be grateful for that. My deepest condolences to all of you♥️

  • 11/19/2022

    Uncle Jim was a big part of my life growing up. I always enjoyed his stories and amazing hospitality. I was so fortunate to have Uncle Jim and Aunty Ev attending all my special events and inviting me to share in Greg and Grant's. They were known to all my closest girlfriends from the many Christmas Ev at Barrhead Lutheran Church and visiting Grandpa Wegner. As I grew into an adult with children, Aaron and Nevan were blessed to have moved just a few homes away in California. We often spent many hours with them and Nevan loved the stories how Uncle Jim played with him and they had a game of "Oh No!". Aaron moved down for university and fondly remembers Uncle Jim and Aunty Ev spending his 18th birthday with him so he was not alone. He loved and admired Uncle Jim's success and the politics they shared. We always loved his visits in California with Uncle Jim and Aunty Ev. Myself and both boys were deeply sadded to hear the news. I'm so happy we were able to all celebrate and Cousin Nicholas's wedding! Uncle Jim will be deeply missed by us and all who were privileged to know him. Shelley Wegner (Ev neice - her brother Albert's daughter)

  • 11/19/2022

    Ev, Greg, Grant, Linda and family, I am so very sorry to read about Jim's passing. We spent many enjoyable times together over the years, I will always remember his positive outlook on life and his sense of humor. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Patricia sends her love too. Love, Jo Frey

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