McDonald, James Dan

McDonald, James Dan

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McDonald, James Dan

James Dan McDonald

Feb. 13, 1953 – January 2020

James Dan McDonald, “Jimmer”, passed away in January 2020 at the age of 66 in Helena, MT of natural causes. Jim was born on February 13th, 1953 in Helena, the first child of Charles Dan and Frances Fisher McDonald.

Jim grew up on the family ranch in Canyon Creek where he learned to drive feed truck and tractor at a young age. In his youth, Jim enjoyed fishing with friends, fixing cars, and riding his motorcycle. He graduated from Helena High School in 1971 and attended Montana State University leaving after the first quarter to help his dad on the ranch.

Jim worked on the ranch many years before leaving to drive truck, then starting his own business, McDonald Machine and Shop. Jim was known as a “jack of all trades” and was talented in many aspects of construction and mechanics. During his life Jim worked as a truck driver, mechanic, crane operator, welder, and concrete finisher.

In his spare time, Jim enjoyed riding his motorcycle, exploring museums, sailing on his boat, and traveling to new places. Jim was also a talented artist and woodworker. He was passionate about family genealogy, new technology, and had an inquisitive seeking mind.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Samantha Holshue (Zach), of Canyon Creek MT; mother, Frances F. McDonald, Canyon Creek MT; sister, Mary Ann Van Dyken (Keith), Anchorage, AK; nephew, Jason Van Dyken (Crystal), Portland OR; and niece, Lindsey Chronister (Eric), Anchorage, AK. Jim also leaves behind a lifetime of close friends and extended family. He is preceded in death by his father, Charles Dan McDonald, Canyon Creek, MT.

A social gathering celebrating James' life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 8th at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home in the social hall, 3750 N. Montana Ave. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to West Mont, 3150 Mitchell Ave. Helena, MT 59602, in memory of Jim. Please visit to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Jim.

To plant a tree in memory of James McDonald as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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