James Lipowy

Obituary of James Neil William Lipowy

March 6, 2015 - Calgary, Alberta

August 17, 2023- Calgary, Alberta


It is with heavy hearts and the utmost sorrow that we announce the passing of our amazing boy James Neil William Lipowy.  On August 17, 2023 at 3:14 pm (Pi time) with his parents by his side, James passed away peacefully after a long battle with Osteosarcoma. 


James (also known as Boo to his family), was born on March 6, 2015 at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta.  He had a full head of dark hair with a little light patch, and from day one loved to be close to his parents.  He was welcomed to the world by his loving parents Jacquie and Ryan Lipowy and he immediately changed their lives forever. His sister Lainie was born the following year and they formed a very close bond.


Everyone who had the opportunity to meet James knew that he was an exceptional, intelligent, brave, and funny boy.  He was a happy child and would do everything he could to keep his friends and family on their toes.  He was a kind and gentle soul and made sure people were included, cared for, and had a good laugh.  His beautiful smile would light up a whole room. 


James was wise beyond his years. He was an amazing reader and could share interesting facts after reading his favourite books. He had a love of sports (especially hockey and soccer), building things, science, all things geography, going to the playground, and telling jokes.  Even in his last few days, he would play tricks on his family and nurses followed up with a “just kidding”. 


Once James became passionate about something, his life revolved around it. As a toddler, he held on to a character from the movie Sing that he called "Guy" and a little yellow school bus; neither one left his sight. Over the years his passions included Paw Patrol, Transformers, Marvel and DC superheroes, Sonic the Hedgehog, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and most recently soccer. James’s favourite team was Manchester United, and his favourite player was Ronaldo or Messi, depending on the day.


James was five when he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in January 2021.  After extensive chemotherapy, he had rotationplasty surgery that May.  James was active again quickly, going on walks with his family, climbing and trick-or-treating.  James started grade one at Our Lady of Grace that fall, making new friends and having plenty of fun.  James became involved in hockey and community soccer, while continuing to expand his love of reading.  James particularly enjoyed non-fiction books about strange and unusual facts.


Unfortunately, in the summer of 2022 James required further surgery.  He recovered quickly, and was back to having fun at playgrounds and going to birthday parties.  Worse news followed in October, when James’s cancer had spread further, and surgery was not an option.  Family and friends banded together to raise funds, research new cancer treatments and search far and wide for the best options.  James created a YouTube channel raising awareness, while giving hope to others with Osteosarcoma by showing all of the things he was capable of doing.


James took each day in stride and the Lipowys made the most of them.  The family traveled to British Columbia so the kids could see and touch the ocean for the first time, and visited family in Thunder Bay, ON and Keremeos, BC.  Closer to home, the Lipowys had a particularly memorable trip to Kananaskis, which became James’s favourite place.  He received his First Communion in May at St. Mary’s Cathedral and this made him very proud.  James also had the opportunity to Make-A-Wish; his was a He-Shed where he could spend time with his sister, and James was fascinated seeing it delivered by a massive crane over the top of his house.


James was his family's whole world.  He loved daily soccer practice with Dad and going to hockey games.  Saturday Slurpees before family movie night, were a weekly highlight.  With Mom, James’s favourite things were cuddles and going on nightly walks, while breaking rules along the way. Lainie and James had a very special relationship. They played together, laughed, were silly, and made YouTube videos; they were surrounded by stuffies at their sleepovers. James watched out for his sister at school and always gave her a hug when he saw her. 


James had a love of all things food and sugary drinks.  His favourite restaurants included McDonalds, the Old Spaghetti Factory, Popeyes, A&W, and Five Guys.  He loved spaghetti, french fries, chicken fingers, pepperoni pizza, BBQ Crispers, Goldfish, Haribo gummy bears, popcorn, chicken pot pies and Cheezies.  His favourite drinks and treats included Slurpees (Coke, Pepsi, Blue Raspberry and Fanta), Mr Freeze, ice cream sandwiches, Dairyland Chocolate Milk and Big Gulp Coke.


We can all learn from James’s strength, bravery and resiliency; he fought and fought without complaint and made every moment count. We encourage you to tell his stories, share his pictures, and live every day to continue his legacy. 


James will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his mother Jacquie Lipowy, his father Ryan Lipowy, his sister Alaina Lipowy; His great grandmother Elizabeth Lipowy, His grandparents Neil Provins (Elaine Shaw), Wendy Provins (David Turton), Bill Lipowy (Christine Arnold), Liisa Sellors; His aunts and uncles; Nicole Provins and Justin Ashurst, Jill Provins, Tyler and Sarah Gvora, Darren and Chelsea Johnson, Tyler Sellors, Quinn Smye and Emma Smye; Cousins Nathan and Carter Ashurst, Thomas and Nolan Gearry, Emilia and Lauren Johnson and Aiden and Kaleb Gvora. 


We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Oncology doctors, nurses, and support team who compassionately cared for James at the Alberta Children's Hospital. We would also like to thank the amazing staff at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for creating a caring environment and showing extra patience during his radiation treatments.  We are grateful to the amazing nurses, doctors and volunteers at the Rotary Flames House for their support, amazing care of James, laughs and willingness to take part in dance parties and spa dates with Lainie.  Most importantly we would like to thank the amazing family, friends, community members and staff at Our Lady of Grace for their support, caring and being part of our team. 


The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral (219 – 18th Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB) on Thursday August 31, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. A reception will follow at the Hamptons Golf Course (69 Hamptons Dr NW, Calgary). Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join James’s service streamed live (see below) on the day of the service. For those who are unable to view live, a recording of the service will be posted. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.


If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any of the following charities that had impacts on James and our family’s lives:


The Osteosarcoma Institute:  https://osinst.org/


Make It Better Agents : https://www.mibagents.org/


The Alberta Children’s Hospital:  https://www.childrenshospital.ab.ca/ways-to-help/donate/


Kids Cancer Care:  https://www.kidscancercare.ab.ca/get-involved/ways-to-give


The War Amps:  https://www.waramps.ca/ways-to-give/donate/  


The Make-A-Wish Foundation: https://makeawish.ca/


In living memory of James Neil William Lipowy, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle NW, Calgary, AB T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.


Click Here to View James Lipowy's Memorial Card


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