Jim G. Manning, 71, of Montana City, passed away January 12, 2019, with his significant other, Cathy Scarff, his son, Jason, and daughter, Kelly, at his side, and the rest of his immediate family close by.
Jim was born in Missoula on August 20, 1947 to Glenn and Bertha (Olsen) Manning. Jim’s parents moved the family, which now included little sisters, Marcia and Marla Kim, to Kalispell in 1954. The family returned to Missoula his junior year of high school. He graduated from Sentinel High in 1965. He attended the University of Montana graduating in 1975. Summers, and when not attending school, he worked as a surveyor and laborer for a construction company building forest service roads in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Jim started work with the Legislative Audit Division for the state of Montana in Helena the summer after graduation. He received his CPA and CFE certificates during his more than 31 years with the office. He made many lifelong friends and had many fond memories of his time there.
Jim had an affinity for all things outdoors. As a young boy he explored the Flathead Valley on his bike, fishing pole in hand. His adventures stretched from Woodland Park to the many streams, rivers, lakes and mountains of Montana. As an adult he continued his wilderness exploits in the United States, Mexico and Canada. No matter the vacation destination Jim knew what could be fished or hunted, and the best season to do so. His final big adventure was a long-anticipated trip, with his son, Jason, to Namibia, Africa, to hunt big game. It was a trip that far exceeded his expectations and provided him hours of fond memories. Jim was a true conservationist. He was an active member of several local and regional conservation associations. He wanted to ensure younger generations would have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors as he had his entire life.
Jim married Teresa Johnston in 1978. Together they raised their son, Jason, and daughter, Kelly. Jim shared his love of fishing, hunting and the outdoors with his children. It pleased him greatly that both also instilled a love of the outdoors in their own children. Jim and Teresa later divorced.
Jim worked with Cathy Scarff at the Legislative Auditor’s office. On a particularly trying day Cathy sought out Manning in hopes of an empathetic ear. Jim agreed to listen to her woes over a beer, and the rest is history. Jim’s and Cathy’s commitment brought together four young adult children, a daughter-in-law and a grandson; and with time, eight more grandchildren. Sadly, Gup Scarff’s son, Joshua Ine, passed away at sixteen months. He was a happy little boy that brought a great deal of love and joy to all.
Jim retired from state government in the fall of 2006. He spent much of his time as he always had, fishing, hunting, and exploring the outdoors on his four-wheeler. He also continued his work with conservation organizations. But his greatest joy was time spent with family. Time with his grandchildren provided an opportunity to share the activities he loved and to participate in those they enjoyed. He was close with his sisters and visited them and their families in Kalispell often.
Jim’s visits to his son Jason’s family home in Texas included fishing, shooting and hanging around the house with the family. He tutored his grandsons, Konnar and Kalvan in the appropriate use of expletives, ate birthday dinner with granddaughter, Myah, at the American Doll store, shopped with his daughter-in-law, Jeannette, and hunted big game with his son, Jason. He was a man of many interests. They all enjoyed combing the exhibits at the annual Dallas Safari Club convention, talking to the outfitters and listening to the speakers. Jim was in his element and, best of all, with his son and family.
Jim’s daughter, Kelly, lives with her family in Bozeman. The proximity allowed for more frequent visits and the twins, Emmett and Jane, were magnets that captured Grandpa’s heart. It’s very apparent that Emmett inherited Grandpas quick temper. From the instant roar and red face to the stiffening of his body, he was mini-Grandpa. And, like Grandpa, once the perceived offense is remedied, his cheery disposition returns. Jane was a Grandpa’s girl from the start. His was the lap to which she gravitated. The twins provided endless hours of entertainment for Grandpa. Jim always enjoyed his time with Kelly and Cameron and now the twins were the icing on the cake
Cathy’s son, Mark, lives in Butte with his family. Her son, Gup, lives in Oregon. Grandpa was a very big part of their lives. Cathy had a home in Butte and many weekends were spent there with the grand girls, Ashton, Kieran and Kate. Grandpa Jim’s positive influence on the lives of Cathy’s family is inexpressible and the time he shared with them, unforgettable. Vacations with Grandpa Jim included trips to the Oregon coast, Sealy Lake, Yellowstone Park and Silverwood. They loved Grandpa’s trips to Butte and their visits to his home in Montana City. Visits to their cousins, Jane and Emmett, in Bozeman with Grandpa Jim were always a real treat.
Jim is survived by Cathy Scarff; his son, Jason (Jeannette) Manning, their sons Konnar and Kalvan, and daughter, Myah; his daughter, Kelly Manning (Cameron Shortell), their son and daughter, Emmett and Jane Shortell. Jim is also survived by Cathy’s sons Gup Scarff, Mark Scarff (Amanda Richards) and their daughters, Ashton Whitehead, Kieran and Kate Scarff. He is survived by his sisters Marcia Manning (Edward Rowley), Marla Kim Hanson (Dave), their daughter, Lindsay Dodge (Tom), and son, Chase; Cathy’s brother, Mick Gordon (Shirley) and sister, Mary Pat Rooney, brother-in-law, Vic Lorengo, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place and private family services will be held later. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jim’s name to St. Peter’s Health Foundation/Cancer Treatment Center. The Montana City Volunteer Fire Department, or a conservation organization of the donor’s choice.
Our heartfelt thanks go to the doctors and staff of St. Peter’s Cancer Unit. The care, love, and support given to Jim and Cathy throughout his battle with cancer were greatly appreciated. The staff went above and beyond their expectations.
To offer a condolence or share a story about Jim please visit www.helenafunerals.com. Big Sky Cremation and Twitchell Funeral Services.