This will run in Friday’s Vancouver Sun, Province and National Post, as well as in the weekend editions.

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My father’s funeral….

Hello one and all,

My father’s funeral will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday August 17th at Cooke’s Presbyterian Church in Chilliwack.  Google Map here.

The burial will take place before hand at the same cemetery where his parents, grandparents, and numerous relatives are interred.  My father had expressed no real preferences for his remains, but we felt that given his overwhelming sense of history and family he belongs with the rest of the Calhoun clan, on the hillsides his grandfather once owned, ringed by the the mountains he climbed as a boy.

Any and everyone is welcome to attend the church service, and it would be a great comfort to the family if as many of his former students as possible could attend.

We realize that Chilliwack is a bit of a jaunt for his former colleagues and students; for that we apologize, but we needed the comfort of family ties to this particular city, cemetery and church.

I can hear my father’s voice in my head, telling me to make sure to inform those who come to watch their speed on the freeway, to make sure to fuel up their vehicles on the way home (as gas is cheaper in the Valley), and to be sure to check out The Bookman, the province’s second largest used bookstore (which is just down the street from the Church) before they leave town.

Though not a particularly religious man, the hymns we will be singing were two of my father’s favourites, particularly Nearer My God to Thee, which moved my father to tears whenever he heard it, as his father loved that song so much.

After the service, there will be a reception in one of the adjoining rooms, where coffee & tea, cookies, and my father’s favourite Shakespeare’s Birthday Cheesecake will be served.

Please spread the word.


James Robert Calhoun

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James Alfred (Fred) Calhoun

James Alfred (Fred) Calhoun:

August 2nd 1944 – August 11th 2013



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August 10th Update….

Hello one and all,

My father is now at the Crossroads Hospice in Port Moody and he’s not doing very well.  He didn’t speak to my sister or me at all today, and he’s communicating through groans and indistinct hand motions.  I thought perhaps he might be able to write, and so placed a notebook in his lap and gave him a pen, and he no longer has the strength or the coordination to hold one.

The admin nurse suggested to me that he has days to live, not weeks.  At this point, she explained, decline is rapid.  Our priority is managing his pain, and he appears to be comfortable and will hopefully spend his remaining days riding a wave of morphine into whatever awaits us all.

My sister and I will be at his bedside.



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August 9th Update….

Hello one and all,

As I write, my father is being transferred to Crossroads Hospice in Port Moody.  He is experiencing delirium: last night he was speaking to me about things that happened 20-25 years ago in the present tense.  This is not a good sign.

I will update this blog as I know more.



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Aug 6th Note…

Hello one and all,

I am just on my way to the hospital to visit the old man, but I wanted to post a quick note thanking all of you who have visited and written over the last few days.  My apologies for not responding more promptly (Telus shut down our internet for service upgrades over the weekend so we’ve been in a communications blackout).

It is extremely touching to read all the messages of support both posted in the comments here and sent privately to me.  I’ve just spent the better part of a half hour printing them off, and it will brighten my father’s day immeasurably to read so many heartfelt notes, particularly those from former students.



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Aug 2nd Update…

Nothing special to report, except that today is my father’s 69th Birthday.


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