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Member News

Scroll down to read memorial tributes,
or click to jump directly to the one you are looking for:


In Memoriam -- January 13, 2016

Jill Hopkins, Canada

Jill was well-loved by IDC members, and will be remembered for her luminous smile, her sense of fun, her compassion and interest in everything around her. Many who have traveled with IDC in the past 20 years had the opportunity to spend time with both Jill and Tom Hopkins, and came away better for the experience. Here are some photos to remember her by.

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In Memoriam -- November, 2014

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In Memoriam -- 2013

Anna Mae Harrison, USA

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In Memoriam -- 2013

Tom Hopkins, Canada

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In Memoriam -- 2012

Tom Gosselin, USA

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In Memoriam -- 2012

Sto Fox, USA

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In Memoriam

Bill Davidson, USA

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Some IDC members have chosen to contribute to the IDC Good Will Fund in Bill's honor.
To read more about this fund and how to contribute, go to the
Good Will Fund page.


In Memoriam

Jerry Lieberman, USA

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Some IDC members have chosen to contribute to the IDC Good Will Fund in Jerry's honor.
To read more about this fund and how to contribute, go to the
Good Will Fund page.


In Memoriam

Lois Weidner, Canada

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In Memoriam

Jack Barth, Canada

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In Memoriam

Helen Fletcher, Canada

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Many members will wish to make a contribution to
the IDC Goodwill Fund in memory of an IDC friend who passed away,
and you can
click here to get the details regarding that process.

 


 

In Memoriam

James (Jim) Fletcher, Canada

1/17/1922 - 4/26/2007

 

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(Jim Fletcher, seated, with the rest of the Canadian Delegation
at the 2001 IDC Convention in Orlando, FL.
L-R, Daughter Pat Bond, Kelly Smith, Jill Hopkins, Gunta White,
Tom White, Florence Malenfant, Malcolm MacGregor, Heather
MacGregor, Tom Hopkins, Marcia Todd, Rita Soucy, seated.
)

 

Some IDC members have chosen to contribute to the IDC Good Will Fund in Jim's honor.
To read more about this fund and how to contribute, go to the Good Will Fund page.

 

Image Eulogy for Jim Fletcher

Given by fellow Rotarian Leigh Higinbotham, May 5, 2007

 

    James Fletcher, who we knew as Jim, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on January 17 1922  he was the youngest of 6 children. Jim passed away peacefully, just over a week ago, on April 26th.

   Jim is the dearly loved husband of Helen; they were married for nearly 62 years, the father of daughters Sally  who predeceased him in 2003 - and Pat. He is a grandfather to Kelly and Shawn and a great-grandfather to Spencer, Dillon, Darrien, Jaeden and Ellie. Jim also leaves cousins, nieces and nephews in Canada, the UK and Australia.

   Jim is described by his family as: sweet, caring, serious but funny, kind, generous and a very fine gentleman.

  To me, Jim was a man who cared about others, a man who wanted things to be done properly and who stood up for what was right, he was a pioneer, he was a man who loved and, . . . . he was a man who was always impeccably dressed!

  I met Jim in 1984 when I joined the Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus. He was a charter member of the Rotary club  one of its founding members  and he served as the clubs first secretary and then in 1979 as its 3rd president. For his service and contribution to Rotary, the club awarded him with a Paul Harris Fellowship. A few months later, Helen also became a Paul Harris Fellow. Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary International.

  Jim was a man who loved. He loved Helen and their family. He loved his work. He loved Rotary. He loved being around people. He loved life. Whenever I saw him, he was smiling! And, he had a great sense of humor.

  He began his career in the dry cleaning industry in Enniskillen, Ireland in1939 and then in 1943 moved to Glen Laundry in Newtownards as manager of the laundry and dry cleaning division that looked after the military. This is where he met Helen and they married two years later.

  Jim was really a pioneer in many of his endeavors. He certainly wasnt afraid to move out of his comfort zone.  In 1949 he had been married for 4 years and their first daughter Sally, was only about a year old. He wanted to provide a prosperous life for his family so, temporarily leaving them in Ireland, he came to Canada looking for opportunities. The next year Helen and Sally left Ireland behind and moved to Winnipeg. In a couple of years Jim and Helens second daughter Pat was born.

  Shortly after Pat was born, Jim once again, set out in search of opportunity, . . . . .  or perhaps it was to get away from the Winnipeg winters, . . . . he headed for Vancouver. Helen, Sally and Pat followed six weeks later!

  Most, who move to Vancouver and the surrounding communities, realize it doesnt get much better and settle down to stay. But not Jim! In 1956 the family moved again  this time to Ocean Falls. Jim was to manage the laundry and dry cleaning plant for Nelsons Laundry. After 5 years, they returned to Vancouver but two years later again headed back to Ocean falls for another five year stint. In all, ten years of his career were spent in Ocean Falls.

  During the 40s and 50s, there were really only two ways to get to Ocean Falls  on a slow coastal steamship or in a flying boat with fabric covered wings. I did mention that Jim was a pioneer!

   When Jim returned to Vancouver he opened Fletchers Dry Cleaning & Shirt Laundry - located at the corner of Broadway and Arbutus. There was a large illuminated sign on the Broadway side of the property that said "Fletchers." He had managed to get his name in lights on Broadway.

   Jim was highly respected within the dry cleaning and laundry industry, locally but also internationally. This is not surprising because he was very capable  he graduated with honors from Public School  he was a hard worker - and he was an astute businessman.

  His knowledge of the industry was recognized and valued by others as he was elected President of BC Dry Cleaning and Laundry Association  now known as the BC Fabricare Association. Later, he was elected as the President of the International Drycleaners Congress and installed to office at their convention in Los Angeles.

  His work with this organization took Jim and Helen to international meetings and conventions all over the world. Even though he was working at the international level he did not neglect his own business. In 1993 he received the International Drycleaner of the Year Award and in 1999 received the George M. Shepard Award for Outstanding Service to Industry.

  I mentioned that Jim was smart dresser. He always wore a shirt and tie at work, at social functions and for Sunday dinner. Well, one hot summer day a man walked into the plant to compliment Jim on wearing his suit and tie. He was a drycleaner from Ontario who was passing by and just had to go in to tell Jim how good it looked for business. Im sure that those of you who have picked up your clothes at dry cleaning plant on a summer day know how hot it can be  especially in a suit and tie!

  However, some of you may be surprised to hear that Jim could dress down for an occasion! It was a Christmas morning tradition  no one could get dressed before presents were opened. On Christmas, when their grandsons were little, Jim and Helen decided to go to Delta from Vancouver, early one morning, for gift opening. Off they went in their housecoats and pajamas. Jim did put his pants on over his pajama pants  . . . .  just in case they were stopped by the police.

  After their grandsons, Kelly and Shawn, were born Jim and Helen became Poppa and Nana. One weekend, Poppa and Nana took their grandsons on an excursion to Victoria. The boys were in bed and Nana was in the bath when the fire alarm went off. Poppa told the boys to get up and gather up their things. When Poppa turned around Kelly was dressed, with his bag, and waiting at the door. Poppa asked him “where are your pajamas” and Kelly replied “under my clothes.” Now thats learning by example.

  Jim and Helen worked together for many years  first in Ireland, then in Ocean Falls, on Broadway and again in Surrey. Not many couples can do that and not bring work home.

  Jim was a key member of our Rotary club. He was very supportive of so many of Rotarys programs. Jim and Helen hosted a Youth Exchange student in 1978. One year Jim and Helen, with my wife and I, took one of our youth exchange students, and her parents who had arrived from Mexico, to the Rotary International Convention in Portland. The parents didnt speak English and we didnt speak Spanish but we still had a wonderful time and enjoyed each others company!

  In 1991 Jim and Helen moved to Surrey to be closer to their family.  Jim retired from Fletchers in 1992  but not for long. A couple of weeks later he got back into the dry cleaning business, in Surrey, with his daughter Pat, her husband Al, and Helen.

   You may not know this but Jim loved to sing and dance. He sang in church choirs in Ocean Falls and at Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church and enjoyed sing-a-longs with his friends and at family events.

  Jim and Helen square danced and attended dances in the Blue Room at Ocean Falls. They enjoyed attending all dinner and dance functions as well as graduations and weddings. Jim always said, when dancing - he let Helen lead.

  Jim was always very supportive of his girls with their sports, their schooling, their achievements and their lives in general. He spent many hours driving Sally and Pat to practices and games  basketball, track and field, and cheered from the sidelines. Later he did the same with his grandsons, Kelly and Shawn, who were both involved in soccer and lacrosse; and Shawn also with hockey. He was their biggest fan. He was never further away than the phone and would race across town to their aid if needed.

  Jim had a great sense of humor and loved to tease. He had a wonderful smile and his whole face would light up. He loved Helen dearly, as he did the rest of the family.

  He will forever be remembered in the hearts of his family and his friends. He will be missed.

 


 

To say Jim will be missed is an understatement. IDC members far and wide have wonderful memories of Jim from the many conventions he attended and his integral role in IDC's administration.

 

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