It is with a heavy heart I write that James Ottley passed away Thursday, July 16th, 2020.
There wasn’t a historical fact, era, or politics he wasn’t extremely versed in. His knowledge was immense – his greater love was his family.
Particular interests Jim had was naval lore and facts, and trains. There isn’t a person I know other than Jim who had ridden ALL Southern B.C. railbeds from Alberta border to Vancouver on his xc and gravel grinder. Save the hunks that were destroyed by the laying of the Coquihalla at snow shed – he’d ridden it all. Re-read that, cause not only did he do it – he could tell you how that particular hunk of railbed came to be, the US corporate behind it, and what resources they were heading North of 49 to grab.
His love of cycling was forged early on – and it’s safe to say he led by example. Inspiring is the least of word to say regarding his rolling profile.
I had the pleasure of riding from Castlegar to Christina Lake with Jim om 2004 through the Bulldog Tunnel and under a seemingly stupid high and frail blueberry Paulson Bridge I still smile at him bitching about the f***ing owls that kept us up all night.
He went for a railbed roll one day, map memorized and stumbled into US Border Patrol. He had rolled into the USA and well they had to check he wasn’t carrying contraband. Usual Jim Ottley snapped that NO he had no contraband and they better not open his can of chili, cause it’s all he had with him to frigging eat.
Dare not you converse with him and be found of Lance Boil Armstrong, Jean Chretien, or any administrative type that worked for any School District. He could cut you down with sabre edged words and yes, you were intellectually outclassed cause you chimed in and didn’t know shit about what you were talking about.
I always use the term Renaissance Man extremely sparingly, and to a rare few.
Jim was strong, but he was only so because he had Shirley at his side. He was a Renaissance Man living in SE B.C. rolling in spandex since the 60’s.
I know he enjoyed our rolls together, but more so when Ilana did it with him.
Adieu Sir – I raise a glass of hearty Red tonight.
Private Family Celebration at a Later Date
In lieu of flowers friends and family can make a memorial contribution to
Swan Valley Lodge “Equipment Fund”
818 Vancouver Street, Creston, B.C.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jim Ottley, please visit our floral store.
Swan Valley Lodge - Equipment Fund
Box 1880, Creston BC V0B1G0