James Thomas Manis

December 17, 1949 ~ September 6, 2022 (age 72) 72 Years Old


Mr. James “Jim” Thomas Manis Jr. of Lethbridge, passed away on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at the age of 72 years.

Jim was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, on December 17, 1949, the youngest of five boys. He grew up in Cascade Locks, Oregon, developing an adventurous spirit that eventually led to his joining the U.S. Coast Guard at the age of seventeen. While stationed in Astoria, OR, Jim and his first wife Carol started their small family with the birth of Danielle in 1971. They carried on the adventures moving to Seattle, Norway, and later Edmonton, AB. Jim earned a PhD from the University of Washington after which teaching was his life’s work. He eventually moved to Lethbridge, AB, where he retired from teaching at the Lethbridge College.

Jim taught a varied range of subjects to a diverse range of learners. In Norway he taught middle and high schoolers, in Seattle and Edmonton he taught University students Scandinavian language and literature, and at the Lethbridge College he taught multimedia design.

Throughout his career, Jim inspired hundreds of students with his confidence in them, his light-hearted and witty approach and his deep belief that everyone was highly creative. There were many all-nighters spent in the computer lab, where Jim would stay to encourage and assist all who needed him.

Jim was an accomplished guitar player, a dedicated golfer, a polyglot, a motorcycle rider who loved being “in the twisties”, a gardener and bread baker, and a lifelong learner. He was a man of vast intellect who was occasionally astonishingly absent-minded, much to the hilarity of his many friends and colleagues. He was unique and witty and tried very hard to be a good dancer.

Jim was predeceased by his first wife, Carol in 2010.

He is survived by his wife Valerie; daughter Danielle; many nieces and nephews from his brothers; Carol’s sisters Janet (Mico), Margie (Sol), Rebecca, Jacob; Peggy (Dan) and Bob (Denice) William, Ian, Malcolm; Helen, Harry and Stephanie; stepdaughters Jessica (Daniel) and Robin; his dear granddaughter Lucianne; friend and mother-in-law Ardis; in-laws Leanne and Glen, Dawn and Ralpoh, Jay and Kristi; nieces, nephews and their families; Chris (Tia), Rory and Sawyer; Josh (Jennifer), Azlynn; Jacob (Meaghan), Cleo; Dan (Stephanie), Thea and Skye; Courtney; Graeme (Emily), Maeve and Myles; Bryde (Chris), Charlie, Jasper and Goldie; Imogen; good friends Faron and Leanne; Tanya and Grace; Janet and Mico; and always in peace and love and a thousand memories,  Mo.

Surely no one will be surprised that Jim would be as generous a teacher in death as he was in life – and so far, all who knew and loved him, who now find themselves missing him, he left us all with this final instruction:

“First, we must recall that the Cosmos is extremely old, and almost unimaginably vast in time and space, so highly improbable things happen there quite frequently, on the cosmic time scale. Now, what I am about to say is true of all living, breathing creatures that have ever existed on planet Earth, but given my current predicament, I feel justified in making it all about me, and for some time to come, about you. About us! I realize that it may seem like woo-woo, or magical thinking, but I assure you it isn’t. It is a simple matter of unimaginably small entities, acting out their parts.
So, here it goes… 
Draw a deep breath, hold it for a moment, and exhale. 
Every time you to that, you will have breathed in 10-20 atoms of breath that I have drawn and exhaled at various points in my lifetime. 
In purely physical terms, that is our connection.”

Thank you, Jim.

At Jim’s request, there will be no formal Memorial Service, but in time there will surely be a party – so get your best Jim story ready. Someone has already claimed The Comet Jim story ‘but there are so very many, you’ll be fine.

Jim loved small creatures of all kinds and if you are considering a memorial gift, please choose your favourite children’s or animal charity.

Many thanks to the nurses, doctors, and home care staff who helped Jim through the course of his illness. A special thanks to everyone at the Palliative Care Unit at St. Michael’s for easing his way.


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