James Carl Dodge passed away peacefully in the arms of Jesus, September 26, 2020, while on Hospice in the Residential Living at Holy Rosary.
He was born April 9, 1932 to Carl and Cecil (Martin) Dodge. He joined his sister, Jean, who was just 18 months older. Ten years later they were surprised with a baby sister, Wilma. They all lived south of Miles City where their father had homesteaded.
Jim was a horseman from an early age. He spent many days and nights in the hills of “the place” herding sheep, this is where he found his love for books. After living in town so Jim could finish school he decided after 8th grade that he had better things to do. The only thing Jim ever wanted to do with his life is to be a cowboy and school seemed to get in the way of that dream. After he moved back to the place, he went to work for the neighbors, the Tonn brothers. While working for the Tonns, Jim and Helder became close. Later, he heard that Helder and Virginia considered him a son.
Jim Joined the Army in 1954 and was honorably discharged in 1956. While stationed overseas instead of coming home on leave he toured Europe. His favorite was horseback riding through Italy. When he came home, he resumed working for the Tonn’s. While roofing the Monte School south of town, Jim met the new teacher Cynda Douglas. They were married in July of 1959. From this union came Kelly Jo in 1966 and later Alan.
In 1964, Jim started work for Hunt Oil Co. on the Tongue River as a ranch hand on the Ball Ranch. He managed it from 1968 until his retirement in 1991. Jim had many interests that came easily. He was a great reader. Will James and BM Bower were a couple of his favorite authors because “they knew what they were writing about”. He studied hard and got his commercial pilots license. He loved flying his super cubs. He flew his plane for the sheer love of flying. His favorite times in the plane where hunting coyotes with Dick Flowers. The stories they would tell! Jim loved animals; horses, kittens, and lambs would melt his heart. It was always a guess which came first. Jim would take Kelly to the Ray Hunt horse clinics. Riding horses together was their bonding time. Jim also jump started Alan’s love for mechanics and the 2nd Amendment.
In 1991, he moved to the homestead. He lived there till a severe injury forced him to need extra help. While living with Alan and his family he became very close to his grandkids. He missed his independence of course, but made the best of it, by keeping up on the news and watching his kindle.
We had heard many times, and knew Jim was a man of few words, but when he spoke, people listened. He taught us how to persevere when the chips were down. His faith in the Lord got him through his trials. He will be missed, and we are comforted by the fact, he is in Heaven with his loved ones.
He was proceeded in death by his parents Carl and Cecil, his little sister, Wilma and brother-in-law, Willis Moline. He is survived by his daughter, Kelly Jo; son, Alan (Angie), grandchildren, Tyler James and Kylie Lynn; his older sister Jean; his nieces: Kristy, Thea and his nephew Kurt; sister-in-law, Shirley Cudney and niece, Paula Cudney.