JAMES G. TOWGOOD

TOWGOOD, Jim

James G. Towgood passed away on June 21, 2015 at the Penticton Regional Hospital. Born in Summerland, in 1932, Jim Towgood was raised with his two brothers, Art and Rob (predeceased), on his family’s orchard in Trout Creek. He lived in his own wonderland of mountain trails, river canyons, and hot sandy beaches.  As a youngster, one of his proudest achievements was that he was taught and trained for the Kelowna regatta by neighbour Eddie Lloyd, he came away with last in the freestyle (age  category 16 yrs) but first in the 50 yd. backstroke in his proper age category (14 yrs ). During his last year in high school, Jim took a job as “Student Assistant” in the plant pathology lab at the Summerland Experimental Farm where he isolated pathogenic fungi from diseased plant specimens sent to the lab from all over the Okanagan.  Another proud achievement was that he played the starring role in the school play “Henry Aldrich”. Jim completed his BA from UBC in 1954. Influenced by the highly respected entomologist, Jimmy Marshall, Jim returned to study that subject at the University of Western Ontario where he completed his MA thesis, “The Inheritance of Dieldrin Resistance in Hylemya Antigua”  (the onion maggot). Jim then went on to receive his teaching diploma from UBC,  and taught high school science at  the ‘North Peace Secondary School’  in Fort St John.  Later, under contract to CIDA, Jim taught  the “Cambridge Overseas Certificate” program to senior students at Jamhuri High School in Nairobi, Kenya.  During school breaks he climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to the highest point of Kibo (5,895 m or 19,341ft above sea level),  and Mt Kenya to Point Lenana.  Most of his school breaks were spent on the beaches north of Mombassa.  Hunting with an underwater spear gun, Jim brought home quite a few large tilapia and one large barracuda. Returning to Canada,  Jim taught high school in Kingston and was a regular volunteer  worker at CORK, (the ‘Canadian Olympic Sailing Regatta’). He loved the water and considered his perfect adventure a seven day canoe trip down the Winisk River from Point Lake to James Bay. Jim eventually owned his own 36’ cruising sailboat in which he explored eastern Lake Ontario and the upper  St. Lawrence river.  He also loved airplanes and frequented  the Gananoque airport in Ontario where he finally became a licensed Solo Soaring Pilot flying in a Schweizer SGS 2-33 and (finally) the Pilatus B4 acrobatic glider. Quickly after retirement Jim moved back to Summerland, his home in the beautiful Okanagan Valley which it seems, was imprinted from birth in his nervous system. He loved the valley and its surroundings and lived his remaining years there with his companion, Karen Anton. Jim leaves to mourn Karen, her two children, Meghan (Brian), (Chilliwack), Dylan – (Summerland), his sister-in-law, Mary – (Tsawwassen), several nieces; Anne-Miguel & Emilia (Mexico), Jean and Elizabeth (Vancouver), Leanne & Lois (Summerland) and one nephew John-Hannah, Avabelle & Frida- (Ucluelet, BC). Jim was loved dearly and will be remembered for his charming nature, his inspiring love of life and learning. A private family gathering will be held to celebrate Jim’s life at a later date.

Giant’s Head – by James G. Towgood

Rocky massif,

looming large,

visage lofty,

facing south, 

since time began, patient, silent; in heat and snow

lording o’er the scene below.

Heat and turmoil formed the giant

formed its vista to the south,

chasm deep and river mouth.

Sage and ponderosa,

Balsa root and bunchy grass,

beauty yes, but what is beauty in the end?

Then came early man

and things began.

Methought I saw him frown,

but no.

Rock of time has no care,

Giant’s Head has no hair.


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