James (Jim) Kolesnikoff

December 29, 1935 – June 12, 2021
It is with a deep sadness that the family of James (Jim) Kolesnikoff announces his passing on June 29, 2021. Jim was born on December 12, 1935 in Watson, Saskatchewan. In 1940 his parents, John and Mary Kolesnikoff, along with Jim and his older brother Larry moved to Grand Forks, British Columbia. Jim attended elementary and high school in Grand Forks, and upon graduation decided to study the Russian language, first at the University of Minsk, Belarus and later at the Moscow University in Russia. He pursued his graduate studies at the University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1978.
From his early years, Jim had been involved in Doukhobor organizations, playing a leading role in the Union of Youth and in the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ. For five years he worked as a Special Events Coordinator with the USCC, initiating the formation of the Doukhobor Historical Society of B.C., the restoration of Fructova School and the development of the Fructova Heritage Centre, among other projects.
During his studies at the Moscow University Jim met Nina, an exchange student from Poland. They married in January 1968 and the same year Nina came to Canada. Jim and Nina have two children, Anna Victoria born in 1976 in Victoria, B.C. and Ian James, born in 1984 in Grand Forks, B.C. For the past forty years Jim and his family lived in Hamilton, Ontario, but every summer Jim travelled back to Grand Forks to spend time with his sister Marion and his relatives and friends.
Jim is survived by his wife Nina, his children Anna and Ian, his granddaughter Chloe Sophia, his sister Marion and many cousins and their families on both the Kolesnikoff and the Kootchin sides. According to Jim’s wishes, his ashes will be brought to Grand Forks and interred at the Doukhobor cemetery. A celebration of his life is planned for September this year. The family requests that any memorial donations be made to the Iskra to continue providing an important service to the Doukhobor community.


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