OHL Mourns the Loss of Jim Lever
The Ontario Hockey League family is deeply saddened by the loss of Jim Lever, a longtime official and supervisor, who passed away Friday at the age of 75.
“Jim was truly one of the builders of the Ontario Hockey League and through his efforts both on and off the ice helped us evolve into the position we currently hold in the hockey community,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “He truly cared about his fellow officials, the players, and our game. On behalf of the OHL family, we extend our deepest condolences to Jim’s wife Joan, daughter Kelly, and the entire Lever family.”
Lever’s tenure in the league dates back to the OHA in 1964 beginning as a linesman but quickly transitioning to a referee until his retirement in 1989.
During his 25-year career on the ice, Lever skated in four Mastercard Memorial Cup events including Montreal in 1973, Kitchener in 1975, Sault Ste. Marie/Sudbury in 1978, and Windsor in 1981. He also refereed in the 1984 Winter Olympics held in Sarajevo, and worked the final OHL regular season game for the Toronto Marlboros at Maple Leaf Gardens on March 11, 1989.
Lever remained involved with the league for 26 years after skating his final game serving in the role of an Officiating Supervisor from 1989 to 2015. Outside of hockey, Lever contributed more than 30 years of service to the Toronto Transit Commission most recently holding the position of Route Supervisor.
He was presented with the Bill Long Award for Distinguished Service in 2002 in recognition and appreciation for his outstanding contributions to the OHL.
A celebration of life will be held in honour of Jim Lever at a future date to be determined.