2020-09-04-10-18-38_jim-hillson-for-newspaper.jpg
Wednesday September 9, 2020
2:00 PM
The funeral service will be held in Fifth Avenue Memorial United Church, (476 - 4th Street S.E.) on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. David Pollard officiating.
In memory of
James Hillson
August 08, 1943 - August 29, 2020 - Age 77

1943 - James Hillson - 2020

Reverend James “Jim” Henry Hillson of Medicine Hat passed away near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Saturday, August 29, 2020 at the age of 77 years. He leaves to cherish his memory two sons Mark (Shannon) Hillson of Vancouver Island and Brendan (Carole) Hillson, two granddaughters Madeleine and Josephine; and Bonnie Simpson and Mary-Ann Britt, all of Medicine Hat; one brother, Jack (Annmarie) Hillson of Saskatoon as well as his niece Stephanie and nephew John; stepchildren Dominic Baril and Ginette Chay (her children, Amy, Vanessa Berg and Caitlyn Baril). James was predeceased by his wife, Janet (Campbell) in 2004 and two brothers, Glen and Bill. Jim's only calling was to be a minister, a position which he was born to and loved. He led his first service at age 19 at his childhood home of Briercrest, Saskatchewan, and was ordained with the United Church of Canada in 1967. His work was chiefly in Calgary, where he was the first minister of Robert McClure United Church; in Medicine Hat at Fifth Avenue Memorial Church; as well as Trail, BC and Vancouver. Upon retirement, he returned to Medicine Hat where he happily occupied his time with his granddaughters' sports, family dinners, church activities and bridge. Due to restrictions in place regarding COVID- 19 from the Chief Medical Officer of Health - funeral services are now limited to no more than 100 attendees including family and funeral home staff. The funeral service will be held in Fifth Avenue Memorial United Church, (476 - 4th Street S.E.) on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. David Pollard, Rev. Linda Ervin, and Rev. Joel Den Haan co-officiating. To assist the church with contact tracing, please call - 403-526-2237 or email the church - office@famunitedchurch.ca and register to attend. Please include in the email your name, address, and phone number. Those who are unable to attend are welcome to view the funeral live on the “Fifth Avenue Memorial United Church” Facebook page. If you wish to remember Rev. Hillson with a donation, you may do so to Doctors Without Borders online at www.doctorswithoutborders.ca. To e-mail an expression of sympathy, please direct it to: office@pattisonfuneralhome.com subject heading: James Hillson

If you wish to watch the funeral service, you may do so here:   Funeral Service for Rev. James Hillson

Printer Friendly Version
Message from Ken Blair; James Farrell September 01, 2020
Our sincere condolences on Jim’s sudden passing. He was a well liked & very much respected member of our community.
Ken Blair; James Farrell
Message from Fran & Andy Porter September 02, 2020
We knew Jim when he was at Red Deer Lake United Church. He cared for our church when it was going through some rough times. Jim was a kind caring man, and he always' told it as he saw it'! Many appreciated his frank but friendly manner. May he rest in peace. He will be missed.
Fran & Andy Porter
Message from Rev. Lynn McKinnon September 02, 2020
My heart is broken. Jim made me feel so welcome in Medicine Hat when I first moved here and I instantly felt I had made a good friend. Sending much love and support to his family and all who grieve this loss.
Rev. Lynn McKinnon
Message from Gordon, Kimberley, Mathew & Alexandra MacKinnon September 02, 2020
Our deepest condolences to the Hillson family at this time of loss and sorrow. Jim has such a profound impact on many people and the community at large. His kindness, warmth, humour and compassion are all parts of his wonderful legacy. We will miss him always.
Gordon, Kimberley, Mathew & Alexandra MacKinnon
Message from Doug and Marian Hamilton September 02, 2020
I am deeply saddened by Jim's sudden passing. We worked together at Riverview in Calgary and through the amalgamation. Jim gave me the gift of confidence through his loving support. He was the best "boss" I ever had. We remained friends all these years seeing each other far too infrequently. I will miss his loving care, his sense of humour, his straightforward nature, and things that made him my friend Jim. My deepest condolences to Brendan and the rest of the family. May God comfort you and hold you in the palm of His hand in this time of tragic sorrow. God bless you all. (Marian)
Doug and Marian Hamilton
Message from David & Kim Pedersen September 02, 2020
Our condolences to Hillson family. Rev. Jim always had great stories when he came around for dinner. His company was refreshing.
David & Kim Pedersen
Message from Tracy and Scotty Taylor September 02, 2020
i new Jim for about 8 years while I worked at the bakery will miss him a lot Brendan and Carole have been super amazing while I work at the bakery I really love working there and hope to have many more years there
Tracy and Scotty Taylor
Message from Joanne Nagel September 02, 2020
My sincere sympathy to Jim's family. A tragic end to a great person's life. He was very well respected in the United .Church congregations of SE Alberta
Joanne Nagel
Message from (Rev) Linda and Gordon Hunter. September 02, 2020
We worked on the Conference Interview Board together and also as part of Pastoral Relations in Calgary Presbytery. Jim was so knowledgeable and honest in his evaluations. He was a fine person, totally committed to ministry in the United Church of Canada. We are deeply saddened by his passing.
(Rev) Linda and Gordon Hunter.
Message from Rev. Tom Melvin September 03, 2020
Jim was a true servant and leader in the church. He was an esteemed colleague and friend.
Rev. Tom Melvin
Message from Gary Grottenberg September 03, 2020
I knew Jim since before I was in ministry and later we worked together on the Conference Interview Board. He was always supportive of me as a lay minister, and was truly one of the people I admired most. The light of Christ in this world seems a bit dimmer for me with his sudden passing. Rest in Christ, dear friend.
Gary Grottenberg
Message from Carol Gardiner September 03, 2020
I am so very sorry for your profound loss.
I met your Precious Jim (again), a few years ago, here in Calgary. I was so delighted to see him and reminisce with him about our simmers at Grandview Beach in Saskatchewan. Jim and his brothers were the “Big Hillson Boys” to my sister and I. Their cabin was just up the lane.
What a gentle, caring soul. Dear Jim, rest in the arms of our loving God.
With every blessing,
Carol Gardiner and Family
Carol Gardiner
Message from Paul Nederveen and Ron Payne September 03, 2020
We send our condolences to Jim's family and all those who sorrow with his sudden and tragic passing. We are thankful that Jim's journey in life blessed us, his friends, as well as our church and our community.
Paul Nederveen and Ron Payne
Message from John Mendham September 03, 2020
I knew Jim through his wife Janet, who passed away some years ago and then through his recently deceased friend, Jan Heath. I always admired his straight forward, but kind manner and am very sad to hear of his passing.
I send my deepest sympathies to his family. In my humble estimation, Jim was a very fine person. I am sure God will have gathered him up and that he is reunited with loved ones, who passed before him.
John Mendham
Message from Myrl Eddy September 04, 2020
More than 50 years of trust, respect and love has been a holy gift, thank you Jim. I treasure many fond photos and memories and know your spirit and memories will comfort your family. Creator, be with them.
Myrl Eddy
Message from Sharon Bobst and family September 04, 2020
As one of Jim's first cousins, my heart was shocked and deeply sadden to learn of his sudden passing on his road trip to join family members for the 2020 Hillson Reunion in Saskatchewan . Rich memories flood back of childhood years in Briercrest, SK as well as happy summer days at our parents' cabins at Grandview Beach on Last Mountain Lake. Jim is loved and deeply missed. May we all find strength and comfort in the shadow of the Almighty. He is our refuge and our fortress. Psalms 91: 1-2
Sharon Bobst and family
Message from Doreen Smith September 05, 2020
I am sorry to hear of your loss. I was honored to be able to meet Jim. I found him to be a very caring and kind man. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family.
Doreen Smith
Message from Sue Masterman September 05, 2020
My deepest sympathies to Jim's family. I was privileged to serve with him on the Medicine Hat SCAC. He was a thoughtful, straight-forward person, who contributed a great deal to the work of our committee. He will be greatly missed by many in this community.
Sue Masterman
Message from Norm and Sharon Koberinski September 05, 2020
We send our condolences to thye family and all who mourn the sudden loss of Jim Hillson. he will be missed in the community and by all of our church family.
Norm and Sharon Koberinski
Message from (Rev) Pam Thomas September 05, 2020
My friendship with Jim dated from the 80s in Calgary Presbytery. He was a dear friend and a wonderful gift to the church. Your loss is shared by many of us who loved him.
(Rev) Pam Thomas
Message from Kim and Paul Parzen, Calgary September 05, 2020
We always enjoyed when Rev. Jim was preaching...engaging, witty and a tone of voice that was pleasing with a calming influence. We will remember him fondly.
Kim and Paul Parzen, Calgary
Message from Keith and Joyce Conley September 05, 2020
We knew Jim when he came over with Midlands United Church to Red Deer Lake United church. Reverend Jim was well liked and knew that all of us were to work hard to make our amalgamation work, in which he succeeded!
To his family our sincere condolences with his sudden passing! May God hold all of you in His hands during this trying time.
Rest In Peace Jim.
Keith and Joyce Conley
Message from Deborah Tod September 06, 2020
I knew Jim from his time at Midlands and Red Deer Lake United Churches. I always appreciated his straight forward, yet kind and supportive approach particularly during the time when I was in a leadership role in the church. He had a wonderful sense of humour.
Rest in peace Jim!
Deborah Tod
Message from Bob and Cheryl Boyko September 06, 2020
We met Jim at Red Deer Lake United church, and he was absolutely wonderful with our congregation. So saddened at this news and we send our condolences and prayers for Jim’s family and friends.
Bob and Cheryl Boyko
Message from Jackie Walters September 07, 2020
I knew Jim at Midlands UC and through its successful amalgamation with Red Deer Lake UC (which, despite its name, is on the far south side of Calgary). I spoke to him recently thanks to Chinook Winds Region and am so grateful for that. He was honest, kind, supportive, justice-minded, and surprisingly funny. I will miss him. Tender thoughts to Jim's family and loved ones.
Jackie Walters
Message from Janice Andreas September 07, 2020
My most sincere condolences to Jim's family and to his dear friends. I served with Jim on the Medicine Hat Ecumenical Campus Ministry Board. His single minded dedication to the board's mission of meeting student need was always flavoured with faith and humour. Jim had a great mind and a big heart. We will all miss his guidance terribly. Again, my sympathy.
Janice Andreas
Message from Christine & Jesse Given September 08, 2020
The suddenness of such a monumental absence is a large readjustment. In the few years we were acquainted with Jim, we observed his deep commitment to his family affairs and special affection to his beloved Grand girls. We extend our sincere sympathy to all of his friends and family and understand the shock that you suffer. When is there ever enough time? There is no end to what could have been.
Christine & Jesse Given
Message from Audrey and Bill Wilson September 08, 2020
People in Grasslands Pastoral Charge (Glentworth , Mankota, McCord) in Saskatchewan are thinking of your family at this time. We enjoyed having the Hillson family living in McCord in the years 1967-1970. This was Jim's first Pastoral Charge after he was ordained. It was exciting times. We were glad to have a young minister from Saskatchewan with new ideas and energy.(Most ministers previous had came from the east). It was a time of learning and challenge for our congregations and for Jim as we faced all the changes the 60's brought to society. Later, like many of our local youth, Jim found most of his life's work in Alberta .A few years ago Bill and I last saw Jim in Alberta at the church our daughter and family attend in Cochrane ,Alberta. He will be missed but will continue in our memories.
Audrey and Bill Wilson
Message from Audrey and Bill Wilson September 08, 2020
People in Grasslands Pastoral Charge (Glentworth , Mankota, McCord) in Saskatchewan are thinking of your family at this time. We enjoyed having the Hillson family living in McCord in the years 1967-1970. This was Jim's first Pastoral Charge after he was ordained. It was exciting times. We were glad to have a young minister from Saskatchewan with new ideas and energy.(Most ministers previous had came from the east). It was a time of learning and challenge for our congregations and for Jim as we faced all the changes the 60's brought to society. Later, like many of our local youth, Jim found most of his life's work in Alberta .A few years ago Bill and I last saw Jim in Alberta at the church our daughter and family attend in Cochrane ,Alberta. He will be missed but will continue in our memories.
Audrey and Bill Wilson
Message from Ron Weddige September 08, 2020
Jim is my first cousin. My Mom and Jim’s Dad were sister and brother, and I grew up in the same small town of Briercrest as Jim and his family. I have lived in the States since 1972 and have not had a lot of contact in that time, but when I was growing up Jim and all his family had a great influence on my life. Of course, we shared our Hillson grandparents, Will and Lulu Hillson. But Uncle John and Aunt Vivian were a kind and generous part of our family as well. It seems like they were always hosting a large family group at their home in town, at Christmas or the holidays, and during the summer up at their cottage at Grandview Beach. Jim and his brother Jack were like older brothers to my twin sister, Anne, and myself. That was really born out when they forged a path ahead of us at the University in Saskatoon. When we went to Saskatoon, Jim was still completing his theology study at St. Andrew’s College on the campus there. I lived in the dormitory at St. Andrew’s (as did Jack) and with singing in the choir, attending services, and participating in the group discussions, we joined a real community that they opened to us. Later when I returned for grad school with my wife, Teena, I remember Jim and Bonnie welcoming us, a new married couple, to their place on Temperance Street. There was always a warmth, a kindness, a caring, that was carried down through the generations from Uncle John and Aunt Vivian, from Will and Lulu Hillson, and I know Jim exhibited that throughout his whole career of service in all the communities he lived. My condolences to all his family. I know this is a tremendous shock. But you know you have a heritage to be happy in, and a heritage you can carry forward.
Ron Weddige
Message from Jackie Hurlbut September 08, 2020
Our condolences to Jim's family from the Veiner Center Contract Bridge. He will be very much missed.
Jackie, Betty, Stan, Iris, Norma, Linda, Pat, Bert, Lois, Gertie, Les, Laraine, Bruce, Dorothy, Vonda, Ruth, Adrienne, Matilda, Lynne, Bob and Willene
Jackie Hurlbut
Message from Tammy burtt September 09, 2020
I worked at McBrides bakery for brendon&Carol.loved seeing Jim every morning with a big hi&that cotagious smile. Really made your day.&how he interacting with grandaughters just filled my heart.thankyou for all you have to your family&the bakery family.RIp Mr Jim you will be missed greatly.
Tammy burtt
Message from Donna Ontonio September 09, 2020
Jim made such a difference in my life. From the beginning of Robert McClure Church when he challenged us to tithe our time and money, to his willingness to talk with me about issues important to me. I loved his sense of humor and how good he was with children. If one of them walked up to him during a service, he just picked them up and carried on talking! I can't even imagine how hard his death is for his family. Mark and Brendan, you were just young boys when I met you. Madeleine and Josephine, hang on to all the fun memories you have of your grandpa. Bonnie, you were alway kind to me. To all of you I send this poem - I'm sending you light to heal you, to hold you. I'm sending you light to hold you in love.
Donna Ontonio
Message from Vallerie Ross September 09, 2020
Jim was a wise friend and mentor for more than 40years. What a privilege and what a gift! Jim showed me and us all how to invite the exile, the marginalized into a circle of love. Into a place of acceptance. Being part of Robert McClure United Church and the Inter Church committee on Latin America the late 1970s opened possibilities of what church could really be in our world. Jim was a unique leader with knowledge of church structures accompanied by the acute ability to both speak and listen with discernment.
I am forever grateful to Bonnie and Jim Hillson who included me in their family in those years. Our family has been blessed with Jim’s friendship from the beginning. Jim baptized and married my daughters. A conversation with Jim always led to a greater sense of well being and greater clarity. He was a treasure to each one of our family.
My love and deep sympathy to Mark and Shannon, Brendon and Carole, Maddie and Jose, to Bonnie and Mary Ann and to Jack and Ann Marie. Thankyou for sharing Jim with our family.
Vallerie Ross
Message from dominic baril September 09, 2020
I spent most of my entire life knowing Jim as my Father figure. He was a constant being for the last 44 years. Jim came into my life to help me understand that being gay was not a sin. His ability to make you feel like you were the most important person in that moment had an effect on my life. My last conversation with Jim was about a gift I had sent him, a gift card for chapters to buy a book. He asked if he could send it back to me? I replied that I wouldn’t be offended. This was the last time that I would hear his voice. I will always remember Jim’s kindness and compassion.

Rest Peacefully Jim

Love Dominic Baril
dominic baril
Message from Susan Witt September 10, 2020
Rev. Hillson attended a physician vigil for a slain colleague August 15 with a large sign and a supportive presence. I did not know him, however, his kindness and concern for his community was abundantly apparent. So sad that he has passed so suddenly.
Susan Witt
Message from Clarence & Vicki Thome September 10, 2020
Dear Brendan, Carole & Family, sorry to hear of your father's passing, Brendan. It's obvious from the out-pouring messages of friends, that your dad was very special. Our sympathy and prayers are with you.
Clarence & Vicki Thome