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MUNRO, James Armstrong

October 10, 1929 - November 21, 2016
Volume 30, Issue 10,11 & 12, December 21, 2016
     It is with great sadness the family announces the passing of Jim Munro, founder of the iconic bookstore, Munro's Books, who died suddenly at his home in Victoria BC, on Monday, November 21st. He was 87 years old.
     The son of Arthur and Margaret, Jim was born in Oakville Ontario, the eldest of four children. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario in 1951, he married Alice Laidlaw. The couple moved to Vancouver BC, where they had two daughters, and for 12 years he worked at the T. Eaton Company.
     In 1963 the family moved to Victoria, where, with Alice's help, Jim was able to realize his long held dream of opening a bookstore. Soon they had another daughter. Jim worked tirelessly to build the business and created a mecca for book lovers. He was also a strong supporter of his wife Alice Munro's writing career. After their divorce, he married artist Carole Sabiston. In 1984 he "bought the bank", a heritage Royal Bank building, for his greatly expanded enterprise. Over the years, the store drew international attention as one of the world's best and most beautiful bookstores. 
     Jim nurtured and enthusiastically promoted many writers over his long career, and found innovative ways to reward his loyal staff. He loved all the arts, was a founder of Pacific Opera Victoria and spearheaded several heritage and beautification projects in the city he loved so well. He hosted countless literary events and enriched Victoria's cultural life immeasurably. He received many honours over the years culminating in the order of Canada in 2014.
     Though he loved grandeur and took great pride in his legacy, Jim was at heart a kind and generous soul who wanted the spotlight to shine on others. He had a ready smile and was a lively presence, affable, opinionated, and always up for a good discussion. 
     Jim will be sorely missed by his wife Carole, his sisters Barbara and Margaret, his daughters Sheila, Jenny (David) and Andrea, stepson Andrew (Stephanie), and his grandchildren James, Thomas, Oliver, Chloe and Felix.
     A celebration of his life will be held at the Alix Goolden Hall on Monday, February 20th at 3:00 pm. Donations in Jim’s name may be made to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund.