Justin Dobson and James were best friends. They were first introduced back in elementary school when believe it or not, Justin was a shy kid. Their friendship grew over the years and really kicked into a tight bond near the end of junior high school and into high school. James was always a guy that Justin could depend on for great advice and he always found himself curious about James’ opinion on everything. They used to spend hours talking about anything and everything, and were ready to embark on an adventure at anytime to any place.
All articles on this page have been written by Justin. He is currently a vac truck operator working in the Northern Rockies of British Columbia and the Foothills of the Northwest Territories.
Welcome Justin James (JJ) Dobson
May 19, 2017
On May 19th 2017, at 8:26pm, my wife Jessica and I welcomed our son into the world. It has always been a dream of mine to have a son, and name him Justin after myself. I wanted to raise a man who I could pass all of my strengths onto, but none of my weaknesses. When having a child became a reality nine months ago, and the thought process behind a middle name began, there were many characteristics we wanted it to hold. We wanted a strong name, and that of a man who has impacted many lives and continues to impact lives today. A man whose strengths of character and personality far outweigh his weaknesses. A man with incredible dedication and work ethic. It became very apparent to Jessica and I that there was no other choice then that of James, after my late best friend James Mattatall. We can only hope that he grows up to be the perfect combination of James and I. It was with great pride that we were given the blessings of Elaine and Dave Mattatall to not just use the name James, but to use James in honour of their son. I cannot wait for the day that JJ asks me about James, and I get to explain to him how incredible and inspiring a human that James was, and still is to every person he came in contact with.
Birthday Wishes to My Best Man
August 9, 2016
Today marks the fifth time August 9th will be an incredibly tough day to maintain a positive outlook without the man who made it such a special day for 23 years. It had always been a memorable celebration, because Jim was a man who would never let the opportunity to celebrate pass by without making sure he corralled the people closest to him, so he could make the most of his day. Jim would be sure to seize the day if it involved a reason to bring his friends and or family all together for a fun and exciting time. Not just his own birthday, but birthdays of all friends, big games, holidays and close friends’ proud accomplishments. Jim would always ensure he and his nearest and dearest enjoyed life together to its fullest.
This day has been extremely tough for me each of the last five years, and in just a week plus a day I will be getting married. I will not only be missing your uncanny ability to uplift me and those around us, but most of all it breaks my heart we are not able to spend this day side by side like we had agreed upon many years ago. My heart also breaks every time my future wife Jessica asks me about you, or I tell her stories of our past, and I am reminded that the most important person in my life didn’t have the chance to meet you, and truly get to realize not only just how unique, and special of a person you were, but also how important you were to me as well. She has developed as much of an understanding of your incredibly distinct qualities as she can, by capitalizing on every chance she gets to ask someone she knows, who was also close to you, what you were like. She has heard many memories of you, created with those close to you. They have not, and will never forget.
On a totally separate subject I was able to meet your absolutely adorable niece Hunter Marie James Mattatall. We shared quite a special moment as I held her, only two months old, in my arms and she looked up and smiled at me. I can’t imagine how proud you are to have your name attached to such a beautiful young soul with so much life and opportunity ahead of her. We all know you are going to do everything in your power to protect her from everything ahead in her journey throughout life, and of course the boys.
Now I don’t want to cause any confusion here with my wording of this letter. You would assume that I might think Jim is unaware of what is going on here with all of us, but I believe he is indeed somewhere observing. When Jim’s mom Elaine asked me if I wanted to provide an addition to Dob’s Corner for his upcoming 28th birthday, and my wedding, there was no doubt I wanted to, but I just wasn’t sure how to structure it. After deep contemplation I realized this could be the opportunity to provide a platform to carry out a conversation with Jim, something I have been deeply desiring since December 17, 2011.
For everyone who takes the time to read this, remember that he is observing us all, through our highs and lows, our successes and achievements, both the good and bad decisions we make. So next time you’re stuck deliberating a choice that seems like a fork in the road that can go two separate directions keep that in mind. If you feel you have already taken the wrong turn, you can always use his presence, and your knowledge of what he would think, to work through it, and back onto the right path. Jim is still here somewhere for all of us.
James, A Truly Special Man
March 5, 2013
As some of you already know I have aspirations to someday become a writer. Not only to have people enjoy the words which I assemble but to feel they have been informed and educated on whatever topic it may be I have chosen to discuss.
In light of the coming events of the next few weeks, I find Jim has been creeping into my thoughts more frequently and he is sustained there for longer periods of time. After these last three weeks of reminiscing upon countless memories we have created, and the distinct character which he possessed, I have been inspired. I feel writing a piece on just how special a person Jim really was may help not only myself relieve the anger, sadness and many other emotions that tend to race in and out of my thoughts, but it may help others as well.
I find the term “special person” is utilized virtually every time the deceased is mentioned and its use may be underestimated in this particular case. Many of us like to believe we are excellent judges of character, and I feel I am. I would say, not only do I have the ability to predict actions and reactions of people, but I grow to expect them. Jim was blessed with a vast array of emotional actions and reactions, ones that spanned from depths as dark as the starless night sky, to those that would shine as bright as the sun. His timing and understanding of whoever was present, where it was appropriate, whatever response or comment he chose to deliver, with perfect execution or maybe just “straddling the line”, James always had the perfect thing to say. This would leave you thinking to yourself “only James”. I don’t believe that I ever found him socially awkward in any situation to the point where it showed through his body language. We all know that we have personally experienced some sort of awkwardness in our lifetimes. I know I have witnessed him get “fired up” under certain circumstances he occasionally encountered, but I feel that was attributed to his unparalleled passion towards what he really cared about.
He had not only the heart and compassion but also the competitive nature and drive for success to make a mother and father proud to call him their son. He had the ability to inspire friends to achieve success as well. If he ever caught us becoming complacent or comfortable with underachieving, he’d be the first to send a stern message to “smarten up”. He had a level of affection towards his girlfriend that could not be measured by conventional standards. His looks were good enough to make any woman proud. He had incredible dedication and you would never witness him withdraw from a commitment without valid reasoning.
I could go on and on discussing how Jim’s decision making and influence were of such great importance to so many people around him but I will leave it up to you to recall an instance in which James has affected you in a positive way. Then maybe you could attempt to carry on a certain aspect of special influence James can no longer fulfill. I feel it will take all of us to make up for the void which has been left by his absence.
May 13, 2012
As all of you know James loved playing hockey as a youngster, but as he matured his interest in sports did as well. He possessed a rare ability to express enthusiasm towards activities his friends were passionate about, and if you know me, football is at the top of my list.
James decided to join me and the Waverly Warriors for our second season of competing in the Metro Touch Football League. He not only brought speed, deceptive quickness, commitment, and a surprising set of soft hands to the warriors, but also a sponsorship from A.L. Mattatall’s Funeral Home. That sponsorship not only cut our individual registration in half, but also replaced our dreaded cotton T-shirts with Nike dry fits jerseys, and numbered shorts.
I will never forget our first game together. One in which we both scored touchdowns and willfully accepted criticism for excessive celebration together. As the weeks went on, Jim’s competitive nature, and growing passion towards the game began leading us into deep conversations not only about every little rule (he was always looking for loop holes) but also techniques on route running, determining man, or zone coverage, and ultimately how to beat them to get in the end zone.
Jim was always aware of his physical abilities, now he was becoming confident in his mental grasp of the game as well. This was turning him into a vocal leader on the field, still very raw, but now comfortable to communicate on-field with teammates. He was comfortable “communicating” with opponents from day one. The fact he was improving every game was ratified by his performance in the championship final game. James reached the end zone twice that game, the first multi touchdown game of his young career. Jim’s two touchdowns were all the Warriors would manage to put on the board, and we lost 25-14.
We’re going to miss big plays from our sophomore wide receiver this season, but more importantly, we will be missing a friend who is a fierce competitor dedicated to success. This season the Warrior’s jerseys will include a commemorative patch reading “JPM” that will be placed over our hearts.
Celebration of Life Reception
December 22, 2011
I wanted to do this speech in James’s honor because I felt I was his closest friend. As I began to think of the outlandish favours he has done for me, or the truly unforgettable memories we have created over the years it hit me. All of you out there in some way have had the same type of experiences, or memories alongside James.
Maybe you have been woke up to your cell phone ringing at a mysterious location, and it be Jim on the other line, saying he’s on his way with Gatorades and timmies breakfast sandwiches, be there in ten. Or if you ever found yourself on the verge of making a big decision, Jimbo would be the first one you’d call to see if he’s done any research, and if he hasn’t yet, he would, but sometimes you would leave the conversation without any big decisions to make at all, because he made it 110 percent clear that it just wasn’t the time.
We all know James was a handsome and clean man; we also knew how handsome and clean he had to make the rest of us. From ironing our shirts to last minute haircuts, from making you change your shirt to last minute cologne sprays. He wouldn’t take no for an answer.
James would never shy away from using his electrical skills. James, Jarrett, and I actually built a room in Jarrett’s basement. Jim said there was no chance he would be a part of it if Jarrett was going to buy a normal light for the closet. Opposed to the expensive closet light which was up to code.
There are countless little things like really getting on your case when your drinking pop like a parent would, or how he’d drag you to the gym for 30 minute cardio sessions, or purposely getting under your skin when you’re lacking motivation. Coming out of the gas station with extra 5 hour energy’s if we weren’t hyped enough, or maybe allowing you to copy off him through high school because he was always prepared. He had the ability to persuade you to do what he wanted just off of pure enthusiasm and undeniable motivation alone.
I have to express his love for Morgan. Whether he was getting upset she was hanging out with a childhood friend, and deep down he knew they were just friends, or going to the mall with him as he went above and beyond for Christmas, birthday, and anniversary gifts. He has told me many times how he loves you Morgan, and how he loved the vacations you went on together.
In closing, I want to tell you all what I gathered from my conversation with Debbie. James was needed in a higher place. He may have been one huge life that has been taken from us, but he was a rare person capable of many things that will save so many more lives, and already has.