With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Jim Ulch on February 5th, 2023, in Saskatoon, SK after a short fight with a cancer, at the age of 63. We say goodbye to a beloved father, brother, and friend. Jim was born on June 21st, 1959, in Picton, Ontario to Charles and Pearl Ulch and was the middle of their three children. Growing up in a military family, they moved around to different posts within Canada and Germany. In 1981, Jim began his exciting career in the oilfield, originally moving full time to Australia. Upon returning his home base to Canada, Jim traveled between McPhee Lake, SK, and countries such as Jordan, Syria, and Yemen for many years. During this time, Jim truly joined the overseas family that would follow him for the rest of his life. Following his stint in the Middle East, Jim joined the true expat life, living exclusively overseas, starting in South America. Jim lived in Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia and back again for nearly a decade. Obviously tired of the heat, Jim decided to take a short-lived shot at Kazakhstan before returning to Ecuador. Jim followed this up with a sightseeing tour of short runs in Algeria, Nigeria, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and India before ending up in Bahrain/Dubai for the longest stay in one place throughout his lifetime. At the twilight of his career, Jim consulted in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and finally in Mexico. As if all of that wasn’t enough excitement for a lifetime, Jim also did this while at times raising his children, giving them the opportunity to join him and in some cases, live with him along the way. As a testament to Jim, his children learned from and joined an extended family that welcomed anyone even remotely close to him as their own.
Along the way Jim made countless lifelong friends and expat brothers and sisters to share in life’s stories, adventures, laughs, triumphs, and drinks. Jim was a mentor to so many people he met along the amazing path that life took him on. His presence was always known, and he had the ability to captivate an entire room with his strong and bold personality. Being around Jim always meant one thing; good times were about to be had, whether you were ready or not. He was as force to be reckoned with, anywhere he went.
Jim was predeceased by his parents Charles and Pearl Ulch. His memory lives on with his children; James Ulch, Natasha Ulch, Daniel Thompson, Juan Sebastian Chiariello and Jose Martin Chiariello; sisters; Maureen (Doug) Wurch and Pamela Scott; nieces and nephews Byron (Yahna) Neufeld, Brad (Jill) Neufeld, Jeff (Melissa) Wurch and Jordan Wurch.
Jim touched the lives of all those who had the pleasure of knowing him and holds a special place in the hearts of many. He will forever be remembered as a loyal and irreplaceable friend, respected mentor, and a father one should aspire to be. Friends and family wishing to make a donation in Jim’s name may do so to the Canadian or American Cancer Society. A celebration of life will be held this spring.
I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I have good memories of working for Jim in Venezuela. Hoping you will find comfort in the love and memories your heart will always hold on.
He always lived larger than life. Our hearts are broken as well. Praying for peace and comfort during this difficult time
You wanna be right? Or you wanna be happy?
One of many classic Jim’s sayings that impacted my life.
Jim’s impact in my life could be defined as friend, mentor, father figure, or role model…but I think he would prefer just as a brother.
We could spend 1 month or 5 years without talking, and we would pickup right we’re we left it. He taught me how to deep fry a turkey, smoke ribs, and few more things along the way that make him part of my daily life.
To all his family my deepest condolences, and I wish you to find comfort in that despite leaving us at a young age Jim lived a full life filled with love.
To Maureen and Pam.
I can hardly believe that one of ‘US’ from way back to our teen years has passed. Jim was a hoot, a good guy, a real pal. I am so sorry to hear he has passed away. Sending you my love and positive energy. BEST!
Jim was a unique kind of guy. Not average by no means. We met in Venezuela and had a lot of the same work ethics and becomes fast friends. The one thing that stands out to me was his generousity to his friends. His home and his heart was always open to his expat friends. I had many good times with him to many to count. I always left with a smile on my face and fun memories. The world needs more like him in it. I will miss his friendship. RIP