August 15, 2018
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tim George Jmieff of Winlaw, BC. Tim was born in 1936 to Polly and George Jmieff, the elder brother to twin siblings Nellie and Mike. He grew up on a farm along the Slocan River, chopping wood and carrying water from a young age and helping his parents in the garden, barn and hay field.
Tim attended school in Winlaw and Slocan and completed Grade 8 before going to work to help support his family. He helped at Jones’ store in Winlaw, tried logging, and at worked sawmills in New Denver and Passmore before starting his career at the sawmill in Slocan City in about 1966. Over the course of over 40 years, he worked his way from piling lumber and running the gang saw to doing maintenance and equipment repair on any and every machine in the mill.
He was a self-taught millwright who could fix anything. And if he couldn’t fix a part, he would make a new one from scratch in his metal shop at home. Growing up on a farm with little money taught Tim to do things himself. He learned to be resourceful, using whatever junk or scrap was on hand to keep vehicles and farm equipment running. He loved to read and learn from nonfiction books and magazines-Popular Mechanics was his favourite. He was passionate about trains, tractors, steam locomotives and engines, and went from reading about them to building working models in his workshop.
Tim was so important to the running of the Slocan Mill that after his retirement, he was asked back and worked part time for several years. His neighbours and friends knew that whatever mechanical problem they had, he could fix it. He machined new parts that fit better than the old ones. With careful patience, he shaved away hundredths of a millimeter until the fit was perfect. And he never charged friends and neighbours for the work he did.
After finally retiring, Tim spent most of his time at home, working in his metal shop, building model steam engines and fixing machinery for family and friends. He travelled with friends to see railroad and mechanical museums in BC, Alberta and the US. He read extensively, and it was not unusual for him to read a book a day when winter weather forced him indoors.
Tim never married and did not have children, but he treated his nephews and nieces as if they were his own. He was a proud member of the IWA union and a lifelong member of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ.
Tim was predeceased by his father George in 1972 and mother Polly in 2006. He is survived by brother Mike Jmieff and sister-in-law Nina, sister Nellie Keraiff, nephews Lucas Jmieff (Ginia) and Randy Keraiff, nieces Natasha Jmieff (Neil Pereverzoff), Karen Heddle (Curt), and Jackie Keraiff (Phil Churchill), grand-nephews Nathan (Kayla) and Justan Heddle (Jen), grand-niece Amber Churchill, and five great-grand-nieces and nephews- Harper, Daxx, Zane, Wilder and Violet.
Tim will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and by those in the Slocan Valley community who knew him. May he rest in peace.€The family wishes to thank all those who supported us during a difficult time and helped us honour Tim’s request for a traditional Doukhobor funeral.
We are grateful for the assistance of funeral officiant Peter Relkoff, Bill Strelaeff and staff at Castlegar Funeral Chapel, the Appledale Hall Society, the Slocan Valley cooks and grave diggers, the singers, everyone who brought squares and desserts, Ray Kosiancic and Peter Barisoff for sharing their memories of Tim, Mabel Kabatoff, Walter Malakoff and Sid Salikin for sharing their music, Laura and JJ Verigin for your kind words, and everyone else who offered their condolences and support. We are grateful to you all.