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21 North Court Street
Phone: 807-345-5351
Fax: 807-345-2015
About An Amazing Life|Help


August 11, 1956 – November 7, 2018

Jim Differ
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Memorial Candles Lit for Jim | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Sargent and Son Ltd.

Obituary for Jim Differ

Today and for many years to come we will be remembering Jim Differ—husband, father, brother, uncle, son and friend--who passed on November 7 2018, at the age of 62, with family by his side. Jim was loved and admired by many, and his loss will be deeply felt by the Thunder Bay community and beyond. Anyone who knew Jim couldn’t help but be drawn in by his kindness, positivity, humour, lively energy and, most of all, his passion for music. A self-taught drummer since the age of 10, Jim began playing professionally in his hometown of Toronto at the age of 17. Early successful bands in Jim’s career included Lynx and PHD, and he continued to tour across North America alongside a variety of high calibre musicians in the years that followed. Since settling in Thunder Bay 20 years ago, Jim has made a huge impact on the Thunder Bay music scene. Followers of local music may have seen him playing with performers such as Flamenco Caravan, The Chain, Rodney Brown, The Knackers, The Matt Sellick Trio, 21 Gun Fun, Ti Amo and so many other ensembles of musicians of every genre, from country to classical. In more recent years, Jim developed a deep interest in jazz, and explored this genre with bands such as Mood Indigo, Sharp Nine and the Danny Johnson Trio. In his younger years, Jim often played alongside his brother John Differ and later contributed to John’s three children’s albums, one of which was nominated for a JUNO award in 2005.
Aside from his musical career, Jim was widely known as the Service Manager at Marostica Subaru. He will be greatly missed by his Subaru family and those he always went above and beyond to take care of and help. Due to Jim’s humble nature, he often did not realize the positive effect he had on others and how he served as an inspiration and mentor to so many people, young and old, throughout his life. His impact was immeasurable.

Jim’s family was his life. He will forever be remembered by his wife, Susanna Di Giuseppe, his children, Lauren and Mat, his mother, Barbara Differ (Percy Miron, step-father, predeceased), his brother, John Differ (Valerie Lapp), and his first wife and long-time friend, Nancy Saxberg. Jim will also be remembered by his many loving nieces and nephews as well as the entire Differ, Regan, Di Giuseppe, Korkola, and Saxberg families. Jim will be missed by his many friends, some of whom travelled from afar to show their support for him while he was fighting his illness. Jim was truly moved by all the love and support shown to him from all of his family and friends during these days.

In honour of Jim, a memorial celebration will be held at the Lakehead University Outpost on December 2, 2018. This will include visitation from 6-7pm followed by a tribute by local musicians, organized by long-time friend and musical colleague, Danny Johnson. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at the celebration or online to the Northern Cancer Fund. Also, a charitable fund to benefit young musicians is being established by the family in Jim’s name. Details to follow.

To send flowers to the family of Jim Differ, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

First Visitation

When Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Lakehead University Outpost
955 Oliver Rd
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1
Additional Information

Service Information

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 7:00pm
Lakehead University Outpost
Address Not Available