J. H. (Jim) Peerless

J. H. (Jim) Peerless

The Saltair-pioneering Peerless Family has sadly lost another senior member. Jim Peerless passed away peacefully on December 22nd with family at his side at the Lodge on 4th in Ladysmith.

Jim was born in 1923 as the eldest child of Ern & Mary (Rayer) Peerless who were drawn to Canada after WWI. Growing up among fledgling farms in the era of Model T’s and Centaur tractors while experiencing the depression years Jim became strong of character .

During WWII Jim served with the newly formed 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. He made two jumps into battle while serving as a paratrooper. He maintained a very significant bond with his fellow veterans throughout the rest of his life. A few years after returning home to Saltair he met and married Scottish lassie Marie Occardi and settled onto the family’s Saltair acreage. Three children were born while Jim & Marie operated Peerless Plant Farm through the 1950s. Jim had inherited a green thumb from his parents and produced abundant garden produce, fruit, and flowers. Having decided to close the family florist and plant business he worked for 29 years on the pulp machines at Crofton before early retirement in 1986.

He enjoyed antique cars, boats and fishing and even built some small boats. He also enjoyed flying his own airplane. He became very skilled at producing concrete garden ornaments and liked to attend many flea markets locally to sell his creations and his flowers. Jim had also created a large pond on his Saltair property which enticed a significant flock of ducks to take up residence, much to his delight. In later years, at about the time a few great- grandchildren started to appear, both Jim & Marie found themselves requiring 24-hour care and moved into the newly-built Lodge on 4th in Ladysmith. His beloved wife, Marie, passed away in November of 2012.

Jim was predeceased by sisters Joan Scott and May Stubbington. Jim is survived by his brother Ed (Kay), son James (Darlene), daughters Susan Banasky (Mike) and Janice Copp (Barry); grandchildren Don (Krista), Aaron (Jaimie), Anika (David), Jenn (Cormac) and Tracy (Brendan); great- grandchildren Shaelan, Paige, Hailey, Kenzie, Blaine, Cole, Rowan and Jordyn.

The family wishes to acknowledge and thank Lodge on 4th Staff for the compassion, thoughtfulness, and caring support given to both of our loved ones over several years and particularly near the end of their lives.

A proud old soldier, father and grandfather, sadly missed but forever in our hearts. “Hook, line and sinker!”

No service by his request. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Animal Care Fund at the Ladysmith Animal Hospital or Ducks Unlimited Canada.


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