July 10, 2023 Editor

A Tribute to My Longstanding Friend and Colleague Jim Wilson

by | Jul 10, 2023

WN: Jim Wilson and I were hired at the same time in January 1980. Jim was an amazingly caring man.

An excellent tribute was pulled together by Erik Johnson of M2W2. The full reflection, including many testimonials, is here. They are well worth the read.

My two pieces sent to family are: Jim Wilson: A Reflection; Jim Wilson: A Story. I cannot speak more highly of him! His son sent me a copy of the superb eulogy he gave at Jim’s memorial, June 25, 2023: Eulogy for RJ Wilson-by Don Wilson.

You may also click on Jim’s Obituary.

Tribute Excerpt:

An Angel has walked among us and reflected for us the face of God.–Gerry Ayotte, former Director of Chaplaincy, Pacific Region

On June 19, 2023, Jim Wilson, a former M2W2 employee, passed away. We at M2W2 offer our condolences to Marci, Jim’s wife of over 60 years, as well as his family and loved ones. Jim was 83 years old. We will remember him for his kindness and compassion.

For over two decades, beginning in 1980, Jim worked for us as a volunteer coordinator. Through the years, he coordinated mentoring programs and visited people incarcerated at several prisons including Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women (BCCW), Fraser Valley Institution for Women (FVI), Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village (formerly Elbow Lake), Matsqui, and Mission Minimum (formerly known as Ferndale). He retired from M2W2 in the early 2000s only to return in the spring of 2007 in a part-time role.

We’re thankful for Jim. We’re inspired by him, and the way he devoted his career to helping people in prison. He brought encouragement and belonging to so many.

Jim Wilson outside Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village
. . .

Remembering a Friend

In Whatever You Did for One… You Did for Me, a book of essays and photos compiled by George Epp in 2006, Jim writes about his friend Vinnie, whom he met at Matsqui.

Jim reflects on Vinnie’s final weeks, remembering a shared meal, Vinnie’s sense of humour, and the sadness of Vinnie’s passing away in prison, separated from his friends. He also describes the growth he saw in Vinnie and how he was challenged by Vinnie’s insights and questions during Bible studies.

As he writes about Vinnie the man — recounting his quirks, his faith, his regrets — Jim reminds us that spending time with him was more than just his job. It was his calling. He saw Vinnie as a true friend, and he keenly observes the impact that Vinnie had on his life, writing, “It was his friendship that reminds me why my life is so beautiful.”

Thank you, Jim, for inspiring all of us at M2W2. Your legacy is one of kindness and friendship.

Jim and Marci Wilson

For much more, please click on: A Tribute to Jim Wilson

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.