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Richard, Jim Earl

Jim Earl Richard, 75, of White Sulphur Springs, died Sunday, February 2018, of a massive heart attack. Jim was the son of Maury and Betty (Howe) Richard, who raised registered Hereford cattle on a ranch south of Miles City.

After graduating high school in 1960, Jim received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Montana State University-which later became the University of Montana- where he received a Master’s degree in Wildlife Management. After completing OCS (Officer’s Candidate School) he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army. He completed his service with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Germany. After his discharge from the Army in 1972, he worked several years for the Montana Department of Commerce as a bureau chief, before becoming a private consultant dealing with local government and land use issues. He was extremely proud of his record of involvement in conservation, where he developed a reputation as a fair and productive member of various proactive conservation groups around Montana, most notably the Montana Wildlife Federation and the Montana Wilderness Association.

Jim married Barbara (Fiske) Welch, of Malta, in 1986, inheriting five stepchildren, Active Duty Master Sergeant Martin Jansen, Tamara (Eklund) Jansen and Randall Jansen, and Chuck and Barry Welch. Jim and Barbara worked together in their own company as consultants to a wide variety of projects in Montana communities for over twenty years. When his wife retired, Jim continued his business and many volunteer projects right up to his death. The family enjoyed all the outdoor Montana activities, camping, fishing, hunting as well as school activities and sports.

In addition to his wife, step-children and their eleven offspring, Jim is survived by two nieces, Molly Kosty of San Francisco and Angie Kelly of Minneapolis, an uncle, John Howe of Miles City, and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his stepson Barry Welch, his sister, Barbara Kosty, and his parents.

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Cremation has taken place. A memorial service with Military Honors will be announced at a later date. Please visit to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Jim.

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