Jim 'Bearcat' Murray has passed away at the age of 89.

Not only is he fondly remembered as the trainer for the Calgary Flames but also as a long-time Okotokian.

Rory Wood, GM with Okotoks Ford, worked with Bearcat for decades.

"Bearcat's been a long-time friend of the family and the store since the eighties. He was a spokesperson of ours since '93 and always was such a gentleman and a scholar and he always thought the best of people and always tried to help out everyone. Even in his later years, he was... 'How can I help? How can I be there? Let me help you with this." 

Bearcat was with the Calgary Flames from 1980 until 1996 including winning the Stanley Cup in '89.

He was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the athletic trainer category in 2009.

Kathy Coutts, with the Okotoks Museum and Archives says Jim's family moved to Okotoks in 1938 and have been a fixture in the community since then.

"He was an incredible person, also a great supporter of almost every charity in Okotoks. He gave freely of his time to speak at schools and sports banquets. He was supporting numerous fundraising events."

"He was just one of kind and true Okotoks."

Coutts recalls he was a very humble man.

"As he would say 'he was just a potlicker from Okotoks. He was proud of his Okotoks roots and promoted the fact he was from Okotoks to anyone who would listen. He always had a story to tell. He was just a remarkable man."

Not only was an athletic trainer for the Calgary Flames but he got his start as a player and coach of the Okotoks Oilers before moving on to being an athletic trainer with the Calgary Centennials. 

Coutts adds, his list of accomplishments is quite astounding.

"Bearcat was inducted into the Okotoks Hall of Fame in 2014, the same year his sister Annabelle was inducted and it was a well deserved honour.  And he also has a couple of fan clubs.  Like, who else in Okotoks has their own wikipedia page and two fan clubs. There was one that was established in Boston and another chapter in Montreal."


***Click the link below to hear Bearcat's story in his own words.

A full 16 minute interview from 2021 when he was promoting his book.