With deep sadness we announce the passing of James Michael Brett Juce, aged 63, of Winnipeg. He died peacefully on March 24, 2023, at Riverview Health Centre Palliative Care Unit.
The third of four children, he was born November 29, 1959, in Rossburn, Manitoba. His joyful early years were spent at the family farm near Angusville, his true home. Later, the family moved to Warren, Manitoba, where James received his schooling. He showed his dramatic talents early on, for several years winning first prize for Spoken Poetry at the Rockwood Music & Speech Festival, Interlake School Division. James went on to attain a BA in Ukrainian Canadian Studies at the University of Manitoba. His dedication to Ukrainian culture and language remained with him through the years. Other university courses led to a minor in Zoology, reflecting his interest in marine life of all kinds. James also pursued the study of Theology during his time at university. He took great pride in being a Reader and Altar Server at various Orthodox Parishes, most recently at Saint Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.
James worked in many professions throughout his life, but always returned to his passion for acting. He received a diploma from the National Institute of Broadcasting, Winnipeg, and was mentored by radio personality Lee Major. James later trained at the Academy of Broadcasting Corporation - Acting for Film & Television (ABC School), graduating in the early 2000s. One of his instructors, Rebecca Gibson, has said of James: "You've made an indelible contribution to this film community, and with your generosity and courage to follow your dreams, you are an inspiration." James received positive reviews, appearing in diverse roles on stage, often at the Fringe Festival. He acted in various television productions, including Sunnyside and The Pinkertons. He also had roles in numerous films, most recently as a principal in Flag Day with Sean Penn, released 2021. A member of ACTRA, James was especially recognized for his versatility and ability to voice a wide range of character accents and dialects.
James held many lifelong interests. He had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of vintage cars and motorcycles, especially Harleys. He developed expertise in many aspects of this field, from engines to paint jobs. James was a collector extraordinaire, and a master at displaying his numerous treasures. With his refined palate, he also had a flair for preparing gourmet feasts. James cultivated eclectic tastes in music; his greatest fondness was for classic Rock 'n Roll.
Though James had a biting wit and was well-known for his sharp sense of humour, he was also kind and compassionate. His friends and family could always count on him to help out and to fix mechanical problems. James loved and cared for various pets, whether cats, dogs, or snakes.
James was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in August of 2022. Despite his increasing discomfort and the rapid progression of the disease, he demonstrated courage and calm to the very end, maintaining his profound faith in his Saviour.
James was predeceased by his father Michael "Mike" Juce and mother Margaret Juce. He is survived and mourned by his sisters, JoAnne, Rosemary, and Esther (Howard). He will also be deeply missed by his nieces, Amelia and Heather (Simon), his great-niece Sandi, and his large extended family and friends.
We thank Riverview Health Centre Palliative Care Unit staff for looking after James during his final days.
Those wishing to honour James's memory may offer a donation to: D'Arcy's ARC (Animal Rescue Centre), Winnipeg, or The AFC (Actors' Fund of Canada).
Viewing and Prayers at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 4, 2023.
Funeral at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
Both events will take place at Saint Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 820 Burrows Ave., Winnipeg.
Interment will be at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery, Angusville, Manitoba, 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, 2023.
Memory Eternal! Vichnaya Pam'yat!