On Friday, March 11, 2022 our beloved Husband, Dad, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather James Maxwell Lawson passed away at the Rosetown Health Centre at the age of 100.
Jim was born on April 21, 1921 at his parent’s farm home in the Idaleen District southeast of Rosetown. He was the second child and only son of Agnes and John (Jack) Lawson. Jim grew up on his parent’s farm with his four sisters, Margaret, Dorothy, Shirley, and Elsie. He spoke fondly of those years on the farm and the sense of community shared with others in the district. As a young boy he attended Idaleen School, the school where his Mom had been the first teacher.
In 1940 Jim went to Gananoque, Ontario and during his time there he worked part-time and attended trade school where he took welding and drafting. Upon completion of his schooling he worked for a construction company until joining the 5th Armored Division in Kingston on January 2, 1942. He trained in Peterborough and Hamilton, Ontario and went overseas on the Queen Elizabeth II in 1942. During his time in the army he served in North Africa, Italy, Holland and then in Germany. He returned to Canada landing in Halifax, travelling by train to Saskatoon and then arriving back in Rosetown on December 31, 1945. He was officially discharged from the army on February 19, 1946.
Upon his return home he worked for John East Iron Works in Saskatoon. Soon after his father encouraged him to start farming and after his marriage he began farming in the summer and spent the winters working as a welder for the Rosetown Welding and Machine Company. He also worked one winter welding on the pipeline at Kindersley and Smiley. .
On March 26, 1947 he married Verna Kingwell. They lived in Rosetown and it was here that their two children, Beverly and Murray, were born. In 1954 they purchased the farm and moved there in the spring of 1955. Jim and Verna continued living on that farm until 1986 at which time they retired to Rosetown.
Jim had a wonderful long life. He was trained as a welder but he was truly a farmer at heart. He was a member of the Rosetown Legion. A project close to his heart was working with archivist Sharon Clark of the Rosetown Library to make a Book of Remembrance of the Men and Women from Rosetown and area who lost their lives in the line of duty in World War II, Korean War, and in the Peace Keeping Forces.
He had a love of sports. He played ball for Rhonda Rockets and was a curler. He coached minor hockey and baseball, and was a member of the Miner Athletic Association when it was first formed and also served on the executive of the Red Wing Hockey club. Verna and he enjoyed golfing and golfed in many locations throughout Canada and the United States.
Jim also was a member of the Committee that put together the Rosetown and District History book in 2007.
He could do math in his head, even after dementia started taking his mind away he could add up a long column of numbers in jig time.
Jim also enjoyed travelling and he and Verna started out in the 60’s with fall trips after harvest to the States with Jean and Frank Kingwell. Later on they started spending the winters in Oceanside, California and enjoyed time spent with friends there. From there they ventured over to Mesa, Arizona and enjoyed many winters at Towerpoint Resort. After their time in Mesa they began traveling with Betty and Clive Hough. What a great ten years they had with many trips to the States, a summer in Scotland and England, another in Australia. Jim and Verna also enjoyed a trip through the Panama Canal.
Jim surprised us all by learning how to use a computer at the age of 85.
Jim was predeceased by his Mom and Dad, Agnes (Love) and John (Jack) Lawson, his four sisters and their husbands, Margaret and Earl Oliver, Dorothy and Henry Montreuil, Shirley and Don (Sonny) Cruickshank, and Elsie and Bob Cheyne, also his niece Barbara Cruickshank, his nephew Bob Cruickshank, and his niece Carol (Montreuil) Hill. He was also predeceased by Verna’s parents, Anna and Jack Kingwell, and Verna’s brothers and their wives, Jack and Kay Kingwell, Ed and Eunice Kingwell, Bernard and Prudence Kingwell, and Frank and Jean Kingwell, his niece Audrey Kingwell, great-nephew Laurie Houdek, and great-great nephew Brayden Houdek.
Jim leaves behind the love of his life Verna (Kingwell) to whom he would have celebrated 75 years of marriage on March 26th. He also leaves his daughter, Beverly and her husband Barry Rutherford, his son Murray and his wife Joanne, along with his grandchildren Kristen Rutherford, Jordan Rutherford and his wife Terri, and Trevar Lawson. Terri and Jordan’s children, Colm, Mirabelle, and Mae Rutherford are also going to miss their Great-Grandpa. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews in both the Lawson and Kingwell families
Jim loved and cared for his family, enjoyed his life as a farmer and steward of the land, and he cherished his friends. Thank you to all of those who loved and supported Jim on his life’s journey.
A memorial service was held at the Rosetown United Church on Friday, March 18, 2022 at 11 am with a lunch to follow. The internment will be held at a later date. A livestream of the service may be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCICJpVm8oXQhapPBlRZ31MQ
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Rose Villa Activity Fund, Rosetown and District Health Centre, P.O. Box 654, Rosetown, SK. S0L 2V0 or to the Orange Memories Care Home, P.O. Box 1900, Rosetown, SK. S0L 2V0.