After living with Parkinson’s disease for many years, Jim King died peacefully on August 8, 2023.
Predeceased by parents James Hayes King and Agnes Northrop Sharp, and siblings George William King and Ruth Ann King Venieris. Survived by his wife of 57 years, Diane Kathleen Metcalf; children Sarah (Nick Bolden), Peter (Vera Granikov), and Tom (Kate Henderson), and grandchildren Emma, Maude, Vita, Desmond, Isaac, and Ella. Caregivers Miriam Coley and Haregu Ashagre were his lifeline in the last five years, alongside the caring staff at Kensington Gardens. He—and we—could not have done it without you. Thank you.
Born in Moncton NB, Jim discovered chemistry in his early teens and never looked back. He obtained a BSc and PhD from UNB, studying under Charles Wiesner, followed by postdocs at Harvard and Imperial College London. He specialized in organic chemistry, and chose to work on sulphites when he was hired at Western University in 1959. Alongside working in the lab himself, he particularly loved mentoring graduate students. After retiring in 1999, he continued to do research as professor emeritus until he and Diane moved to Toronto in 2012.
Jim was an excellent cook—a foodie long before the term existed—recording new recipe attempts and tweaks to recipes in small black notebooks—just as he did lab notes from his official chemistry experiments. He loved classical music, opera, ballet, theatre and English history, along with puns, comics from Pogo to Calvin & Hobbes, limerics and nonsense verse. He had an encyclopaedic memory: before the rest of the world got google, we had dad. He accepted the slow deprivations of Parkinson’s with grace, focusing on what he could still do and letting others worry about what he couldn’t. He was a loving husband and father, and a kind person. He will be missed.
Donations to Parkinson’s Society or Kensington Health.
Visitation and service in memory of James King ** NEW TIME 1-2:30pm
Info: The family will be present to receive condolences from 1-2pm. Service will follow in the chapel at 2pm, led by Kensington chaplain Philip Gearing. Note that Kensington Gardens has 2 buildings. There is underground parking beneath the South building (at 25 Brunswick), and the service is in the North building (45 Brunswick). There is limited street parking on both Brunswick and Major. Both buildings have driveways that run between Major and Brunswick, with the front door midway between the two streets, so they can be accessed from either street.