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The death occurred at The Mount Continuing Care Community on Sunday, October 15th, of Jim Larkin, age 77, after battling Lewy body dementia for several years. Jim was the eldest child of Mary and Alexander (A.J.) Larkin. He is survived by his loving wife (steadfast partner, walking and traveling companion) of 52 years, Helen (MacDonald), and the pride and joy of their lives, their three children and their families: Steven and his sons, Santiago and Sebastian, and his step daughter Daveigh Kaye; Kelly and her husband Trevor Chisholm and their sons, Wil and Drew; and Corinne and her partner, Peter Edwards.
Jim is survived by siblings: Sharon (Deryl, dec.) Beaton, Elaine (Joe) Hennebery, Sandra Larkin (Dave Bradley), Claire Larkin (Dave MacFarlane), Joseph (Lucy) Larkin, and Teresa (Gary, dec.) Ellis: his in-laws, Joan Larkin (Pat, dec.), Bobby MacDonald, Patsy (Fred, dec.) Myers, Anne (Norbert) Morrison, Claire MacDonald, Rita (Mark) Arsenault, Jerome (Loraine) MacDonald, Edith MacDonald, and Edward (Sheila Lund) MacDonald; many nieces and nephews and their families. He will be deeply missed by his close cousin and confidante, Joe Byrne, his faithful coffee buddies, Carl Bradley and Harry Gaudet, and his frequent traveling companions, Kathy Martin and Diane Griffin. Jim was predeceased by his parents, his brother, Pat, his sister, Lorraine, and his brothers-in-law, Deryl Beaton, Gary Ellis, and Fred Myers.
An industrious and visionary man, Jim learned his community service skills early in St. Peters Bay from his family and under the mentorship of Aquinas Ryan and Jim MacAulay. He was the External Vice-President of the UPEI Student Union for 1970-1972, and later served on the executive of the UPEI Alumni Association and as a member of the UPEI Board of Governors. His first job was with the Centennial Commission of PEI for the 1973 centennial celebrations. Afterwards, he worked for the Federation of PEI Municipalities, was proud to serve a term as the MLA for Sixth Queens in the Angus MacLean and Jim Lee governments (1979-1982), and accomplished much as the Executive Director of the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island (TIAPEI) from 1983-1994. In that capacity, he chaired the organization, “Islanders for a Better Tomorrow,” which successfully spearheaded the campaign endorsing construction of the Confederation Bridge. He also worked with the Chamber of Commerce to initiate the “Festival of Lights,” (the decorating of downtown Charlottetown for the Christmas season), and was recognized with an Honorary Membership in the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce for this initiative. Jim was very proud to receive the Premier’s Award for Tourism in 2004 as well as an Honorary Life Membership in TIAPEI.
In 1981, Jim and Helen bought MacKinnon’s Lobster Pound, successfully expanding the seafood market and developing the landmark seafood restaurant which became known as “Lobster on the Wharf”. Jim was always grateful to the many dedicated and hardworking staff (including family members) who made this possible, and proud to provide employment to many students as well as career tourism workers during his 33 years in business. After retirement, he was pleased to chair the QEH Foundation’s Friends for Life campaign in 2016 and for many years served on the board of both the PEI Marathon and Downtown Charlottetown.
Jim was a rather doting father and grandfather who took great delight in his family and rarely could say “No” to a request, especially from his daughters. He loved to travel, to experience how people lived and how they did things (especially in restaurants), and over the years satisfied his sweet tooth in nearly all of the world’s seven continents. He accepted his rapid decline with little complaint, even though his confinement to nursing care was very difficult for such an active and restless individual. Jim was always very helpful to his family and his friends, and so very many returned his kindness by sitting with him in his final months. A very special thank you to Sharon, Elaine, Sandra, Teresa, Joan and Joe for all the time spent caring for Jim and to so many at The Mount who made a special effort to meet his needs and put a smile on his face.
Resting at the Belvedere Funeral Home for visitation on Thursday, October 19th from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The Funeral Mass will be at Holy Redeemer Church on 3 Pond Street on Friday, October 20th, 11:00 AM, followed by interment in the Roman Catholic Cemetery at 110 St. Peter’s Road. Donations may be made in Jim’s memory to the QEH Hospital Foundation.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation
60 Riverside Drive, Charlottetown PE C1A 8T5