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We regret to announce, Jim Hewitt passed away suddenly on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at the Portage District General Hospital at the age of 73 years.
Jim was the only son of Ozzie and Phyllis Hewitt born on July 28, 1945 at Portage La Prairie Mb. His only sister Marilyn was born 3 years later.
The first 11years of his life were spent on the family farm South of Portage in the Overhill District attending a one room school. Then his father’s work as a grain buyer took them to Carberry in 1956 and to Wellwood in 1959. Each new town brought new friends but it wasn’t good for school so at 17 Jim quit school to go to work. He moved back to Portage in his late teens where he learned carpentry.
However, school and work were not his passion, it was music. From his childhood days when he went to sleep behind a piano on a stack of coats while his dad, aunt and uncle played for dances, to 14 when he got his first guitar he loved music. So at 16, he formed his first band and played for the rest of his life except for the 14 years after his son died. In his 20’s he made a good living as a musician touring all over the prairies and Ontario. Opening for such musicians as Kitty Wells and Hank Snow to name a few. But you would seldom hear this from Jim because he did not think he was that good and wondered why people came to hear him play. And come they did, hundreds hired him to play and sing for their weddings, anniversaries and parties all over Manitoba as the band “two plus two” with his Dad and various musicians.
Jim married Linda Robinson in 1969. They had two children Tanis and Chad. Unfortunately the death of their son Chad in 1992 ended their marriage.
Jim stopped playing full time when his little girl was about 4. He returned to the carpentry trade to make a living and played on weekends. He soon had his own company. He was a skilled carpenter who built many homes and commercial buildings. Later he became city inspector then site supervisor working for others. He loved to pass on his knowledge to young carpenters and taught many young men the trade through training programs at Sandy Bay, Long Plain and Swan Lake. It made him happy to see someone learn the trade.
In 1995 Jim married his high school sweetheart Irene Souque and formed a family with their daughter Suzanne (born in 1965) and Tanis. They became the sisters to each other that they never had.
Our family mourns the loss of our Husband, Father, Grandfather. We will remember him as a family man who loved his parents, sister, wife, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends and their children above all else. His lap was a welcome spot for all children.
He was a good man, a kind man, our music man, a man who could fix just about anything.
We will miss him greatly.
Thank you for your thoughts & prayers, and all the acts of kindness shown to this family through this trying time by family and friends. Thank you to the Ambulance & the hospital staff, the Herman Prior Centre, McKenzies Funeral Home for the care you gave, to Minister Beth Kerr for officiating at his service, and to Johnny Dietrich and the Sharpe Sisters for their wonderful gift of music.
He was predeceased by his parents Ozzie and Phyllis Hewitt; son Chad Hewitt and sister-in-law Gisele Souque. Jim will be lovingly remembered by his wife Irene Souque-Hewitt; daughters Suzanne (Ron) Lestage of Kelowna and Tanis Hewitt (Bradley Leung) of Winnipeg; grandchildren Tasmine Jacks, Taylor Hewitt, Kali Lestage and Linnea Leung; sister Marilyn (Don) Zander of MacGregor; nephews Darcy (Tricia) Zander and Brent (Shelley) Zander; sisters and brothers-in-law Jean (Janice) Souque of Haywood, Guy Souque (Fionna Honig) of Haywood, Yvette Souque (Bill Knott) of Portage, Raymond (Mona) Souque of Winnipeg, Ron Epp of Winnipeg and Pete (Bonnie) Souque of Haywood; numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
A celebration of Jim's life will take place at the Herman Prior Activity Centre, 40 Royal Road North, Portage la Prairie, MB on Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 1:30 pm, led by Rev. Beth Kerr.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. 204-857-4021 www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com