James Kubota, 91 of Cochrane passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family and friends December 7, 2022.

Jim was born on a Homestead in Milk River District to Takayuki Kubota and Anne (née Seidle), the oldest of five children. The Homestead years south of Raymond were full pioneer conditions. Carried water. No amenities. Coal was hauled from Lethbridge, meals came from the crops and livestock raised on the farm.

Hard work, dedication and commitment were no stranger to Jim’s earlier years. Jim learned production from his Mom when she taught him and his brother how to press and wrap butter at an early age. The resulting pounds of butter would then be bartered after a horse ride to town. Jim’s farming skills learned from his Dad began as soon as he could reach the controls of the Caterpillar Tractor with his young arms. His characteristic powerful shoulders must have started to develop then. All farms have plenty to do along with regular chores, fences to be fixed, fields to be worked. This work ethic was a foundation he carried with him throughout his life. As an early youth the growing family moved to Raymond while continuing to farm the land. Jim was a King Scout, he served a mission in Japan for more than two years. While there he met Uncles, found the Kubota farm outside Hiroshima, hiked mount Fuji, and saw the devastation from the Hiroshima bombing years earlier. His early and lifelong interest in photography blossomed in Japan.

While visiting his mother Anne in Toronto, Jim met his wife to be Linda. James and Linda (Barter) were married in 1959 and settled on the Coaldale farm where they had three children, Tammy, Bradly and Calla. In 1965 they sold everything and moved to Ontario, where a fourth child Scott, was born. Jim worked as a welder, machinist for four years before getting a job at IBM. Jim’s career at IBM culminated in the Toronto Headquarters model shop. There he worked with a highly skilled team that built the unique items assigned them. Master welder, Machinist, Tool and Die, Superb sheet metal worker, and more than capable hydraulic and electrical skills were all used.

Jim was passionate about many things he did. While a Professional Wedding Photographer for 17 years he attended hundreds of weddings. He could arguably out dance most of his offspring. He was a very accomplished windsurfer in the early days of the sport. Jim and his son Brad shared many memories on the water. The artistic designs and musical gifts he shared with his daughters, Tammy and Calla, the wood working was a common ground between him and Scott.

After retiring Jim returned to Alberta, eventually residing in Cochrane. His crafts in multiple mediums, wood, rock and metal reside in homes and businesses throughout the area. Jim and companion Nila, enjoyed dancing, art, golf and drives in the mountains. Jim was loved and admired by all who knew him.  Often referred to as the “best neighbor”, the “fence conversations” were many and memorable. 

Jim is survived by his brother Richard; children, Tammy (Larry), Brad, Calla (James), Scott (Rena); grandchildren Jennifer, Jessica, Trina, Brock, Coryl, Derek, Bradly, Carissa, Paige and Connor; six great-grandchildren; and nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts and cousins.

Jim was predeceased by brothers Edward and Ron, sister Edna, niece Marnie, grandsons Kirk and Conner and a great-grandchild Gabriella.

Jim’s gentleness and kind heart provided cherished memories to those who knew him. Happy trails James until we meet again.

A Celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date.

Arrangements entrusted to Flo Simpson, Funeral Director

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – cochrane@piersons.ca 403-932-1039

  1. On 12/12/2022 at 5:45 pm Celeste Said:

    Brad and family. I am sorry for your loss. The stories you have shared makes Jim feel like family. He sounds like he was a wonderful man and father. Hugs to you Brad and my sincere condolences to you and your family and to all who knew and loved him.

  2. On 13/12/2022 at 1:53 pm Leslie Frias Said:

    On behalf of Dr. Tristan Ziegenhagel and our entire dental family, we would like to pass along our sincere condolences. Jim was more than a patient at our office. Jim was a friend. So many chats, so many amazing items that Jim created and would share with us. Jim very kindly gifted us with a few of his beautiful wood creations. We will forever hold Jim in our hearts, he will be missed by all who knew him.

  3. On 15/12/2022 at 11:45 am Angela Schmidt Said:

    On behalf of everyone (Rose, Angela, Avery and Sylva) at Sure Print & Copy Cochrane,our sincerest condolences. We loved chatting with Jim and seeing the amazing things he created over the years, we will miss him very much.

  4. On 12/01/2023 at 11:08 pm Faith Wackershauser Said:

    I am so sorry for your very great loss of your much loved father. I had many wonderful conversations at the gas bar and I will dearly miss seeing and speaking with him. You are in my prayers.

    A friend Faith Wackershauser

  5. On 15/02/2023 at 10:15 am Ray Boyko Said:

    I was saddened to learn of the passing of Jim.

    I can really identify with Jim being the “best neighbour” anybody could wish for. He and “little” 4 year old  Scott were the first to welcome us to the neighbourhood over 50 years ago when we moved in across the street. Scott hung onto his daddy’s leg and hid a bit from me as if fearing me. That  fear or shyness soon disappeared and we soon felt as if we were part of each other’s  family.  

    Jim always was ready and willing to lend a helping hand to his neighbours. I remember his help cutting cords of wood for our wood stove even at a time when he was busy driving north to gather his own firewood. He helped me “raise the roof” on the green house I was building in the early 80’s. These are just a few examples of Jim’s generosity with his time. 

    Over the years  we shared the purchase of a snowblower, we went on outings with him to Frenchman’s Bay to watch him ice surf, and drove up to Scugog Island to  see him windsurf, just to name a few. He made windsurfing “look easy” on a very windy day. He was so proficient at it, it didn’t look difficult so Lana and  I decided to give it a try. I could never really get the hang of it even after Jim gave me some pointers during a visit to Ghost Lake many years ago. No one could ask for a better neighbour and I was so sad when he decided to move back out west. 

    We also have great memories of those many “fence conversations” even though no fence separated us.

    And oh by the way, we have one of his wood toys in our home.

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