James A. Mitchell, 85, passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack on January 23, 2019 in Quartzsite, Arizona. He and his wife Dorothy had spent winters there for the past 20 years to get out of the cold in Montana. Jim was born in Independence, Oregon to Richard and Ellen (Keller) Mitchell, the second of seven children. They moved back to Montana when Jim was still a baby.
Jim graduated from Stevensville High school, where he lettered in several sports. After high school he joined the Army where he became a Ranger and paratrooper with the 11th Airborne. Jim was working for the Butte-Anaconda and Pacific Railroad when he met his wife Dorothy while dancing at the IT Club outside of Butte in Rocker. They were married in Shelby, Montana on May 29, 1958, and celebrated their 60th anniversary last year. They had three children, Jim, Steve, and Laurie – all two years apart.
Jim managed the Hennessey store in Livingston, and then transferred to the new Helena store. Deciding to go into business for himself, he became half owner of H & M Equipment Company selling farm machinery. He later bought the King Koin Laundromat. Jim went to Alaska on a vacation and decided that if you could make money floating around on the ocean, “that was the life!” Dorothy and Jim fished commercially in Southeast Alaska for 20 years. They loved every minute of it!
Jim was an avid hunter and fisherman, who got his antelope last fall at the age of 84. His younger brother Lonnie helped him pack it out. The fish in Hauser Lake are relieved even though the family is sad! His life was richly blessed by the Lord. He loved being with his family, dancing and playing cards and games. Not a day went by that he wasn’t busy.
Jim is survived by his wife Dorothy, son Jim (Michelle) Mitchell, son Steve (Sheri) Mitchell, and daughter Laurie (Pat) DeLong and five of his siblings. Jim had four grandchildren and six great grandchildren who loved him dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Larry Mitchell. There will be a memorial service held at a date to be announced.