James Patrick O’Grady had a love of sports and the friendships that it provided. Over his life time he participated in many sports from square dancing as a child to golfing in his adult years. He was willing to try many sports and always took advantage of the opportunities that were available in his walk through life. In high school he was on the basketball and volleyball teams. In university he joined the wrestling club. Once he moved to Alberta and started his career with the Royal Bank he participated in downhill skiing, tennis, and fastball with his friends and colleagues.
He had a special love of baseball and played second base in a fastball league for the Royal Bank.
Jim O’Grady was born and grew up just outside of St. Thomas. He attended school at Mary Buck, St Raphael and St. Joe’s. He graduated from the University of Windsor.
Jim was always a hard worker and would always give his best in any endeavour that he started. He worked in tobacco, at Clarke Equipment and the Bank of Montreal prior to graduating from university. Following his move to Alberta he worked a short time in retail and then started his career with the Royal
Bank. He eventually left the bank and took courses to get his CGA designation. He started to work with a small survey company that did work in the oil patch. He became the CFO of this company and various other oil patch related companies. He enjoyed going into a company , helping it get up and running smoothly and then move on. Jim enjoyed a challenge and once he had things working well he would be looking for the next challenge.
He believed if you were going to do something you should do it well and he would always strive to improve whatever he was doing. He would never ask anyone to do something that he wasn’t willing to do himself. He believed in giving people the tools that they needed to do their jobs well.
Jim was a quiet behind the scenes kind of person who would never ask for anything for himself and would give what he had if he thought someone else needed it more. He was always willing to help his friends out in their time of need.
His wife Mary Jane wanted to honour his memory by creating an endowment fund that would contribute to “registration and equipment costs for children who would otherwise not be able to participate (in sports) due to lack of funds”. In this way she is helping Jim to pass on his love for the game whether it be in sport or life to the next generation ,…and the next.
The first grants from this new Fund will partner with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of St. Thomas-Elgin and provide baseball registration and equipment for two ‘little brothers’ who would not have had the funds to participate in the sport they love.
The Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation is honoured to hold and manage this legacy in memory of Jim O’Grady.