Legal 04

Leonard James Thornborough

August 10, 1947 ~ August 15, 2019 (age 72) 72 Years Old


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Leonard James (Jim) Thornborough, Q.C., formerly of Glenboro, Manitoba,  passed away at Okotoks, Alberta on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at the age of 72 years.

Jim was born in Glenboro, Manitoba to Leonard and Mary (Mattie) Thornborough.  He was raised on the family farm along with his older brother, Henry and his younger sister, Nancy.  Jim graduated from Glenboro Collegiate in 1966 and enrolled in St John’s College in Winnipeg, from which he graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  In 1969, Jim was accepted into the University of Manitoba Law School and received his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1973.  During his law school education, Jim demonstrated an aptitude for and keen interest in trial advocacy, co-winning the Western Canadian Moot Court competition in 1972. 

After his graduation from law school, Jim moved with his young family to Brandon, Manitoba, where Jim opened a law practice, Thornborough Roy and Johnson.  He was active in politics and stood as the Progressive Conservative Party candidate for the Brandon East constituency in the provincial election of 1978.  He was also elected a Bencher of the Law Society of Manitoba in 1982.

In 1985, Jim relocated to Calgary.  He began practicing at the firm Smeltz Engel in 1986 and would continue to practice at the law firm he co-founded, Thornborough Smeltz LLP, until his retirement in 2019 at the age of 71.  Jim’s dedication to and proficiency in the practice of law led to his appointment as Queen’s Counsel by Her Majesty’s Lieutenant Governor for Alberta in January, 2014. 

Jim had many hobbies and interests.  He was a gifted curler, playing lead on the rink that won the Manitoba Provincial championship in 1974 and going on to play in the Brier that same year.  He also enjoyed playing golf, woodworking, and spending time with his beloved dogs.  He enjoyed cooking for family and friends, who appreciated both the delicious food and the lively discussions which could be expected to take place at Jim’s dinner parties.  He traveled extensively with his favorite destination being the United Kingdom.

Jim was predeceased by his parents and by his brother, Henry, in 2018.  He is survived by his sister, Nancy (Marty), his five children, Carrie (Mike), Cathi (Kent), Jeremy (Megan), Sarah (Len), and Amanda (Vanessa), and by his five grandchildren, Matthew, Brady, Lauren, Jane and Leo.  He is also survived by many extended family and many dear friends who will miss his charm, wit, and interesting conversations about politics, history, law, philosophy and current events.

A Celebration of Jim’s life was held at the McInnis & Holloway Funeral Home, Calgary, AB on Monday, August 26, 2019.

A Graveside Service will be held at the Glenboro Cemetery on Saturday October 23, 2021 at 2:00 pm with Sharon Hamilton officiating.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Those unable to attend, friends are welcome to sign the memorial register book by emailing or by calling 204-827-2480 and we will insert your name.   

Memorial donations in Jim's memory may be made to the Foothills Country Hospice Society, P.O. Box 274, Okotoks, AB, T1S 1S1, 

Online condolences may be sent to the Thornborough family by visiting McInnis & Holloway Funeral Home of Calgary, AB and Jamieson’s Funeral Services of Glenboro in care of arrangements. 

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