Jim Lipskie

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Maybe you knew him as “Singing Jim” or from his days as a Stock Car announcer in Sullivan in the 60’s and 70’s, but one thing is for sure if you ever met James Allan Lipskie you probably have memories of your time spent with him. Whether it was his love of music and performing or a simple joke (or five) Jim touched many lives throughout his life.

James Allan was born May 22, 1946 in Owen Sound to Harvey Carl and Dorothy Luella (Barfoot) Lipskie. He was the third oldest of six children, joining older brothers Dennis (1942), Doug (1945), with younger sisters Gloria, Donna and Sharon following in 1948, 1954 and 1961 respectively. The Lipskie family lived and farmed on Sideroad 4, R.R. #2 Chatsworth. The children attended S.S. #2 Sullivan. Jim spent two years attending Owen Sound Community Vocational Institute and one year at West Hill. His favourite subjects were Math, English, and Spelling.

Jim took his first job at the Cross Country Store in Owen Sound. He then went on to Office Equipment as a salesperson. Over the coming years, he worked a variety of jobs which included working for the Township of Sullivan and in construction. In 1964, Jim moved to the Kitchener Waterloo area where he worked as a receiver at the Sweater Company.

Jim was fortunate to find love twice in his life, yet unfortunate enough to also experience the dissolution of his two marriages. Jim first married Mary Elizabeth Gracie on November 29, 1969, separating four years later. On November 12, 1983 he married Elise May Wilfgang and sadly divorced in 2016, after having been separated for twenty-seven years.

In 1967, Jim returned to Grey County, working for Seegmiller Construction as a bookkeeper. A few years later, in 1971 Jim moved to Stratford for a short period of time before building his first home in 1972. Over the next 32 years, Jim designed and built 23 homes, with him spending the longest time living 15 years, at his current home. 

Over the years Jim also worked at Grey Bruce Lighting, Starr Glass, sold water softener salt, enjoyed landscaping and operated his own antique business. In fact, Jim started his antique business in 1978. In 1992 he opened an antique store in Dornoch and remained there until 2005. Not only did Jim know his business, he had a story to accompany every antique he owned.  His memory was amazing, almost unhuman, as he could remember dates, numbers, and facts in, but an instant. You might even say he had a photographic memory, for if he seen it, he could most certainly remember it.

In 1989 Jim bought a property on the Bruce Peninsula, whereby he renovated the house and resold it in 1992. In the past 15 years, he enjoyed building friendships with his Amish neighbours, often acting as a driver for them and their families.

As if Jim wasn’t talented enough, he was also a great singer and piano player. As previously mentioned he was known as “Singing Jim” and performed primarily Country and Country Gospel. He knew over 700 songs and would taunt anyone to guess a song he didn’t know, offering to buy the individual a drink if he didn’t know the tune. Jim said he never had to buy anyone a drink, ever! Jim saw his gift as a God-given gift! He also sang at several weddings and funerals over the years. Jim was a member of the Niteliters band and performed in a variety of venues throughout Canada and the U.S. He had the honour of sharing a stage with Tommy Overstreet (1968) and even sang on stage in Nashville with John Wright and Kitty Wells (1983). Following this performance, he was invited back to Kitty’s home for dinner with her family. What an honour! Jim’s favourite artists were Allan Jackson and Conway Twitty. His favourite song was “Your Love Amazes Me” by John Berry.

Jim also enjoyed carpentry work and working outside landscaping or gardening. He was most proud of the eight-piece, solid black walnut bedroom suite he created. In terms of collecting, Jim not only gathered antiques around himself, but he also collected anything elephant, an animal he was fascinated with his entire life. Jim also loved his dogs, having loved and cared for a German Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, and Golden Retriever during different periods of his life. When it came to food he loved his blueberry pie. Time in front of the TV usually meant watching a game show like Family Feud or Wheel of Fortune, with a little All in the Family and Red Skeleton sprinkled in. Although not much of a reader Jim loved to journal and wrote daily in his diary.

In the late 60’s early 70’s Jim was introduced to stock car racing. No, he did not drive but instead specialized in announcing the races. His gift of gab, music and the odd joke allowed him to be the perfect entertainer between races. He started out at Jackpot Speedway on J.D. Carpenter’s farm on the 4th of Sullivan. A few years later he began announcing at Model T Speedway near McCullough Lake for Roy Girdler. In his day, Jim was renowned as the best-known stock car announcer in our area.

Jim did a fair bit of travelling in his day, going to Nashville nine times, the East Coast nine times, as well as all over the world. He also took on the task of organizing and hosting a trip for 52 locals to Nashville in 1972. Jim had a great sense of humour and was quite the jokester. He knew 1,000’s of jokes and could often garner a smile from anyone. Some were clean, others were not, but he usually had the perfect joke for the situation. This humour was something that remained with Jim until the day he died. He absolutely loved bringing smiles and enjoyment to those around him. 

Sadly, in recent months, Jim was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In true Jim fashion, he took this news in stride, got his affairs in order and was at peace with the life he led. He passed away on his own terms, surrounded by family, at Hanover & District Hospital on Saturday, October 19, 2019 in his 74th year.

Loving brother of Gloria (Russ) Graham of Hanover, Donna (Rene) Chartrand of Wallaceburg and Sharon (Roger) Martin of Williamsford. Jim will be missed by his nieces, nephews, neighbours and close friends. He was predeceased by his brothers Dennis (1960), Doug (2007) and his parents Harvey and Dorothy (Barfoot) Lipskie.

In respecting Jim’s wishes, private services will be held.

Memorial donations to Chapman House would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

 

Jim’s final words of advice… “don’t be too busy trying to make a living to have a life.”

Send to friend
Len Metcalfe
October 23, 2019
Sorry for your loss, he will be missed.
Katie Harrison
October 22, 2019
To Jim’s siblings and other family members:
My most sincere sympathy to all of you! He was a great guy and as crazy as a loon!
You can be sure, he’s looking down on you and singing “Life’s Railway to Heaven!”WA
Elaine Maluske
October 21, 2019
Deepest sympathy to the family.
Nelson and Carole Rose
October 21, 2019
To Sharon, Roger and the Lipskie Family, Our thoughts are prayers are with you and your Family at this very difficult time. Please accept our deepest sympathy.
Shirley McMillan,Edward McMillan
October 21, 2019
So sad to hear ,he will be really missed by anyone who knew him.Great guy he was .
Helen Lindblad
October 21, 2019
Sad to hear your brother died. May the love of Jesus surround you all. Hugs and blessings.
Gerry and Charlotte Pomerleau
October 20, 2019
Condolences to his family.. His friends have lost an amazing man. Rest in Peace, Jim.. gone but not forgotten
Carol M. Jarvis
October 20, 2019
Condolences to the family
Verna Graham-Miller
October 20, 2019
I send my deepest sympathy to Jim’s entire family. May your many happy memories help to comfort you during this difficult time.
Jen Lewis -Morin
October 20, 2019
My deepest condolences to the family and may heart felt peace and love be with you during this time.
April wilson
October 20, 2019
My deepest condolences to.the family he will be missed

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Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.

Katie

Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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