I lived with my Grandparents growing up. We were tight. This is a big one. As devastated as I am, I’m happy he went out strong and is not suffering. It just wouldn’t have been his style to stick around stuck between 4 walls. When I was 17, my grandfather told me to never quit acting. After my performance of Juliet at the Leah Poslun’s Theatre in Toronto, he said “Boy oh boy are you good, don’t you dare listen to your father, you are meant to be an actor.” We used to drive down the Don Valley Parkway every morning as he drove me to school. Racing under bridges, alley ways and side streets trying to beat traffic (Grampa’s favorite pass time) and one day he told me a story about a moment in his life where he chose happiness over anger and a commitment towards that philosophy. It really stuck with me and I even quoted him on this in a movie I made last year. My grandma was always snarking at him, “You eternal optimist!” And he was. We were all with him when he passed. He deserved that. I had a private moment with him just before his last breath. I will never forget it for as long as I live. Last week, at first, I felt like a part of me died, but now I see that he lives on in me. My grandfather lived passionately with the love of his life (Elizabeth Black), and every moment was chosen with integrity, honesty, clarity, love, joy and responsibility. He jumped into life with his whole body. I’m proud to be his granddaughter. The funeral was beautiful and healing, and the innocent stories of homemade explosives, and other shenanigans Grandpa and his brothers got up to, at his grave in Fergus Ontario, were hilarious and cathartic. Proud to be a Black.
JAMES ARTHUR BLACK Formerly of Toronto, passed away at Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound on Sunday, November 17, 2013 in his 85th year. Beloved husband of Elizabeth (Stewart) Black of Summit Place, Owen Sound. Dear father of Nancy and her husband Vern Foley of Arthur, David and his wife Grace of Owen Sound and Bruce of Port Perry. Loving grandfather of Catherine, Miriam, John, Kaladar, Kirian, Kris, Alex and Vanessa. Brother of Jack and Velma of Fergus, Robert and Norma of Owen Sound, Olive Roberts of Fergus, Fred and Delores of Holstein and Mary and Val Glen of Mount Forest. Fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his brother- in-law, Al Chyc. James was born in Toronto on December 17, 1928. He attended Humberside Collegiate and was quarterback of the football team and continued his post-secondary education at The University of Western Ontario. His career spanned over five decades at Wood Gundy where he became Director of Government Finance. In retirement, Jim was our mother’s right hand as she soldiered through her term as President of the Canadian Opera Finance Committee. In 1994, Jim became President of the National Club in Toronto. He often would attend luncheons with his Bay Street friends at “The Club” as he truly respected and enjoyed their company. Later in years, Jim was devoted to our mother Elizabeth and he particularly loved his grandchildren. He also was a huge fan of sports, loved his Maple Leafs and The Argonauts. Jim Black is resting at the Greg Roberts Funeral Home, Mildmay. Visitation will be held in Central Westside United Church, Owen Sound on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 1 p.m. until the time of the Funeral Service at 3 p.m., with the Rev. David Shearman officiating. Interment at Belsyde Cemetery, Fergus on Thursday, November 21st at 1 p.m. Donations may be made to the Grey Bruce Regional Hospital. Toronto Star guest book dedicated to James Black