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It is with great sadness but also a tremendous sense of gratitude that we said goodbye to Jim on Sunday, June 23 2019. After a life well lived, he was at home overlooking the lake, with his family all around him, and listening to his favourite Mozart concerto.
Jim was born, and grew up in Niagara Falls, as the older brother of Linda, and son of Mary and Duane. He studied Zoology at Michigan State University and went to medical school at the University of Western Ontario graduating in 1963, cum laude. Most importantly, he met the love of his life, Bitten (fresh off the boat from Denmark) in Sarnia in 1957 where they worked in a lab together, and they married in 1960.
As soon as medical school was finished, they set off for British Columbia, choosing Kelowna as their home, playground, and place to raise their family. Jim was an “old school” physician who made house calls and delivered his own babies and he had great compassion and dedication to his patients. He was part of an amazing close-knit team at Group One Medical.
He and Bitten shared a love of nature and a passion for outdoors. He was an avid fly fisherman (this was truly an artform for him), paddler, hiker, runner, hunter, skier (with style and grace both in champagne powder and on Nordic trails), and in the later years a keen birder. He was also a student of the heavens – astronomy was Jim’s religion and he continued his quest to study the universe and share his knowledge until his last day. He helped found the Kelowna chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and was instrumental in establishing the Okanagan Observatory off the Big White Road.
But above all Jim loved his family: His “child bride” Bitten with whom he shared over six decades of love, adventure and partnership. His three daughters, Kirsten (Scott), Sarah (Ian), and Jenn (Phill), and seven grandchildren (Jake, Theo, Rachel, Grace, Fraser-JAMES, Jacob, and Julian), nephews and nieces in Ontario and Denmark and many grand dogs. There are many others (you know who you are) who are like family and he loved you all.
Jim was so wise and kind, but for all who knew him his intelligent wit and wicked sense of humour were probably his defining characteristics. Many of us were on the receiving end of his gentle humour and practical jokes! Until the last few years, Jim enjoyed a vibrant healthy life. We are so grateful for the care and compassion of his medical team, especially Dr. Dan Obedkoff and Dr. Richard Hooper.
We will have a Celebration of Life for Jim at Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 1:00 pm at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC. In lieu of flowers, if you wish, donations would be gratefully received for the KGH Foundation, www.kghfoundation.com, or the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Okanagan Centre. Cheques would be made out to: RASCOC, 285 Terai Court, Kelowna V1X 5X6

May the skies be clear, the powder deep and the fish plentiful. We love you.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com.

Link: www.springfieldfuneralhome.com/obituaries/dr-tisdale-james-m/
Condolence Messages
  • Jul 27, 2019
    My condolences to Dr. Jim's family. He was a great family Dr. to me and my family members for many years. He looked after us well. After he retired I often bumped into him and Bitten at the Nordic X-Country ski trails and enjoyed a chat. He will be missed. Ken Hoffman
  • Jul 20, 2019
    Sincere condolences, Jim was a good friend and doctor to Vic and I for very many years. I'm sure that he and Vic shall now enjoy many a good fishing tale.
    My thoughts are with all of you and both of them. Betty Prodnuk
  • Jul 19, 2019
    To the family of Dr. James Tisdale.
    My condolences on the loss of this lovely man who was your husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend......the list goes on.
    I was one of those babies he delivered back in 1966 and he was my doctor until he retired.
    I will always have fond memories of him and I know you will miss her terribly.
    Sincerely, Carol (Hoffman) Romanchuk & family
  • Jul 19, 2019
    Sad to hear Dr. Tisdale passed away. He was a good man. Our condolences to the family.
    K Boersma
  • Jul 13, 2019
    We were so sorry to hear the news and send our condolences to his family. We were blessed to have him as our family doctor and he took such good care of us. He will remain in our memories. Rest In Peace.
    Sylvia, Rene Rufli and Family.
  • Jul 06, 2019
    Dear Bitten and family,
    What a wonderful happy life you and family spent with Jim . He was a great neighbour to have at Poplar Point and we will miss him.
    Pat and Ron Reiter
  • Jul 06, 2019
    Sending deepest condolences to Bitten and Families. Very sad to hear. Annette and Ken Bennett
  • Jul 06, 2019
    Condolences to the family on the loss of a great Dr., Sportsman and true Community Supporter. Our family physician for 40 years and true friend. Hope the fish are biting up their big guy.
    Gwen and Jim McFaul
  • Jul 04, 2019
    So sorry to hear of Dr.Tisdale's passing. I had the pleasure of working for him years ago at group one medical. I will always remember his kindness and contagious smile.He truly was a special person whom his patients all adored. He truly will be missed by many.
    Corinne Gorges
  • Jul 04, 2019
    Sad to read today that Dr. Tisdale had passed away. We had the good fortune of having him as our family Doctor starting in 1968. What an outstanding physician and such a warm and caring manner. When you left his office, sent on your way by that great smile, you knew that everything was going to be ok. My sincere condolences to Dr. Tisdale's family.
    Mark Smith
  • Jul 03, 2019
    We send our warm thoughts at this difficult time to Bitten and her wonderful family.
    Jim was a great neighbour and friend. His 'big' smile will be missed as also his friendly chats.
    Take care friend.
    Dennis and Heather Semeniuk
  • Jul 02, 2019
    Dr. Tisdale always made us feel that we were his only patients!
    Adele and Doug Joorisity
  • Jul 02, 2019
    How lucky was I the day I joined Group One Medical with Jim Tisdale as one of the (several) stars there!
    When Jim counted his blessings, Bitten and his three girls, Kirsten, Sarah, and Jennifer were always at the top of his list. Our love is with you.
    Gail and Chris
  • Jul 01, 2019
    Dear Bitten, our sympathy goes out to you and your family. We cherish many wonderful memories hiking with you and Jim in the Rockies. We'll never forget Jim's impromptu stitching job on Hanni's lacerated brow at Waterton, or the starry evening when Jim introduced our grandson to astronomy at the old Black Mountain site.
    Roland and Hanni
  • Jun 28, 2019
    My condolences to Jim's family. He was a good man. He was a great doctor. He was a gem of a human being. I worked with him in ICU/KGH from 1977 (the early days). He cared about all his patients, was very approachable and available. He loved life, at work, on the ski hill, and in dark skies in the mountains to search for the wonderment beyond. His joy was contagious. He was the 'real deal'. Rest in peace fellow Ontarioian. Barbara Carroll. Retired RN,
  • Jun 28, 2019
    I am so lucky to have known Dr. Tis and his amazing family my whole life. I loved and respected him so much and and am glad he is at peace now.
    Please say hi to my dad for me Dr. Tis.
    All my love to the whole beautiful family.
    love Shelley Holmes
  • Jun 28, 2019
    Doctor Tisdale was everything rapped up in one package, god bless you Jim and god bless your family.
    Tom Mckee
  • Jun 28, 2019
    To Bitten and family. Our deepest condolences to all of you. Jim was a marvelous doctor who looked after our family for many years. He was a great friend and will be missed by many. Cherish your memories. Ann Day and family.
  • Jun 28, 2019
    My condolences to the Tisdale family. My mother, Dr Marion Dobson spoke of Jim with great fondness and respect. She appreciated having him as a colleague and often mentioned him to our family. "Old school" practitioners are no longer and we are all the worse for it. Rest in Peace, Dr. Tisdale. Say hi to Marion.
    Jane Dobson
  • Jun 28, 2019
    We were very shocked and saddened to hear of Dr. Tisdale's passing. He was our family doctor for many years until he retired. He was a very caring and respected doctor and colleague.
    Our sincere condolences to his family in this difficult time.
    From, Bryan and Judy Proskiw and family
  • Jun 28, 2019
    Bitten and family,
    We are so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Sincere condolences to you all.
    Gord and Sue Wolfe
  • Jun 28, 2019
    Our sincere condolences to Bitten, Kirsten, Sarah, and Jenn.
    Jim was not only our excellent family Doctor, but a great friend to my father, Paddy, as well as the whole Clerke family. I have many childhood memories of hearing the tales of their infamous Clerke, Newton, Schmidt, Tisdale (CNST) annual fishing derby and still have many photos of their exploits in my possession. Trips to the Doctor, for me, were about 40% health related and 60% to get the latest fly fishing tip. In fact, the last time I saw Jim was a few years back on the Nordic XC Ski trails and he told me of a Lake he had discovered that fished extremely well early in the spring. I fish it often now always recalling who directed me there. I also had the pleasure to spend a day pheasant hunting with Jim and his Black Lab. I marvelled at watching Jim and his dog work together flushing pheasants for me. I don't think they marvelled as much at my shooting prowess. Jim has left a wonderful legacy behind and many, many fond memories with me.
    Shawn and Rhonda Clerke
  • Jun 27, 2019
    Sending my condolences - Jim brought both of my wonderful daughters into the world and was a HUGE support as my wife was losing her battle with breast cancer. I've seen him on a few occasions since he retired and - what an extraordinary man. He will be missed. Sincerely Brian Harms ... also for daughters Jennifer and Stephanie.
  • Jun 27, 2019
    One of the very best doctors Kelowna has been lucky enough to have!
    He really cared for his patients.
    Marjorie Beales
  • Jun 27, 2019
    Condolences to the Tisdale family on Jim's passing. I worked with Dr. Tisdale when he was Medical Director for the Kelowna Int. Triathlon, back in the day,, and he was always a delight to be around, and his contributions valued. Jim will be truly missed by many , not just family, but friends, patients and acquaintances, as he left all of us with wonderful memories. Truly am sorry for your loss.
    Wanda Sheath
  • Jun 27, 2019
    So sad to read this news. Dr. Tisdale was our family doctor starting some time in the 70's when I was a young girl up until he retired. He also delivered my first baby in 1989. So sorry for the loss of your Dad, Sarah, Kirsten and Jenn.
    Donna Doucette (nee Lunzmann)
  • Jun 27, 2019
    To the Tisdale family, sorry to hear of Dr. Tisdale's passing. he was my husband and my Dr. for yrs. he was always so kind and giving and no matter what time of the day or night he was there for you. Thank you for allowing us to have you in our live's for that many yrs. May the family find all the strength they can get to get through this most difficult days, weeks and months ahead.
    Marie Raeburn
  • Jun 27, 2019
    So sad to hear about Dr. Tisdale's passing. He was our family doctor from '73 until his retirement and he was such a wonderful and caring physician, and also a lovely person. He took genuine interest in all of our kids' lives as they grew up and left home and I know they will also be very sad.
    Sincere condolences to his family,
    Pat, Kelly, Taryn, Ryan and Kristin Fay
  • Jun 27, 2019
    Worked with Dr. Tisdale for many years at KGH, and it was always such a pleasure. He was a top rate physician and a gentleman, smart, professional and kind. We have all lost someone special. Sincere condolences to his family.
    Trish Boileau
  • Jun 27, 2019
    To Bitten and the whole Tisdale Family, we are all sorry to hear of Jim's passing and we know he will be greatly missed. All of our thoughts are with you all at this time.
    From all your skiing family at the Monashee Inn at Big White
  • Jun 27, 2019
    I worked for Dr. Tisdale as his assistant 67-68. He also delivered my daughter in Sept/68. Lovely, lovely man and always loved working for him. He will be missed.
    Diane Wigglesworth
  • Jun 27, 2019
    To all members of the Tisdale family,
    Another sad moment reading this. Jim was a wonderful person who did more than his share to make this world a better place. The dash years were well spent, even the lake trout send a bubble or two along with a sigh of relief.
    David Langton
  • Jun 27, 2019
    Sincere condolences to Dr Tisdale's family. Worked for many years with him, he was a great physician, friend and caregiver to all.
    June Bianchini
  • Jun 27, 2019
    Bitten, Kirsten, Sarah, Jenn and families,
    Mere words cannot fully express what Diane and I are feeling on hearing of your loss.
    Dr. Jim will be missed in so many ways, as a loving husband, father and grandfather, as well as a dear friend and caring, "old school" doctor.
    We are better people for having known him, even his advice when giving the toast to the bride at our wedding, rings in my ears, "Always squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom."
    Our thoughts are with you,
    Diane and Skip Ratel
  • Jun 27, 2019
    Very saddened to hear of Dr. Tisdale's passing. He was our doctor for at least 30 years. His presence to so many was Kelowna's gain. Not only was he keenly interested in all aspects of our healthful life, but shared such kindness and strong friendship, even into his retirement years. We've lost a star player in our world. He will be missed.
    Armand and Shirley Rochon
  • Jun 27, 2019
    Dear Tisdale family,
    James was my family doctor for 25 years; I can't say enough good things about him. A lovely, wise, compassionate man.
    Elva & Al Webber and family
  • Jun 27, 2019
    Sending condolences to Bitten and family. As a member of the Okanagan Astronomy Group, I was aware of Jim's considerable contributions to all he did. He was someone to admire. We all benefited from knowing Jim. We share your loss.
    Our sympathy, sincerely, Lynn and Gale Honey