Jerald, known to all as JR, was born April 24, 1958 in Rochester, MN, to Charolette and Jerald Nordhus, Sr. The family moved to Montana when he was a child, where JR delighted in long hours spent along the Blackfoot River in Missoula. He especially enjoyed hunting and fishing, passions he maintained throughout his life. JR was the oldest of three siblings, the late Greg Nordhus, sister Allison Nordhus, and Randy Nordhus. He grew up in a warm, loving family, and graduated from Sentinel High School in Missoula. Upon graduation, he joined the Marine Corps, proudly serving a four-year term. He was married to Mary Martin in April of 1986 and, prior to the coupleÂ´s divorce, had three sons, Nicholas Nordhus, 25, Jacob Nordhus, 23, and Tanner Nordhus, 18, who were each a source of joy to him.
He met the love of his life, Christine Migneault Nordhus, in 2006, and the couple wed on Aug. 29 2008, happily interweaving their two families together. Her two children, Travis and Tyler, and daughter-in-law Toni, affectionately referred to JR as "Pops." The couple lived for a short time in Missoula before relocating to Jordan. JR possessed a number of skills, and during his adult life was a cabinet maker, a ranch hand, and worked for Smurfitt-Stone Container Group for 16 years. He was the companyÂ´s lead maintenance man.
JR is described as generous, funny, sympathetic, energetic, empathetic, as well as handsome and giving. A legendary prankster with a mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes, he was known for playing tricks on friends and family members alike, and wasnÂ´t shy about "dropping his drawers." He was rarely without a smile.
His favorite time of the year was hunting season. He was especially proud of his 11-point bull elk, which was one of many elk he slayed. He also hunted deer and antelope, and fished passionately along the Blackfoot River, and in Fort Peck Lake, where he reeled in countless Northerns and Walleyes. He also enjoyed bird hunting, and his favorite hunting companions were his brothers, Randy, Greg and Kyle. His most recent fishing trip took place less than two weeks before his death.
JR also loved taking his children hunting and teaching them what he knew, cherishing time spent with each while passing along skills developed during a lifetime in the wilderness. He also delighted in dressing up as Santa for family, friends, and neighbors, and took great pride in wife ChristineÂ´s jewelry-making talents. He often wrote his wife quirky, sweet love poems. In his spare time, when not enjoying the outdoors, he was a creator of unique handmade birdhouses into which he incorporated elements of everyday life. He was a fan of Words With Friends, the Montana Grizzlies, and The Rolling Stone's. His favorite quotations were, "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, itÂ´s yours. If it doesnÂ´t, it never was," and "To the world you are one person, but to one person you are the world."
Along with his wife, Christine, he is survived by his mother Charolette, his children, Nicholas, Jacob, and Tanner Nordhus, as well as Travis and Tyler Migneault, and TylerÂ´s wife, Toni. He is also survived by sister Allison Nordhus, brother Randy Nordhus, and cousins Pam and Kyle, as well as a list of countless others who will miss him dearly. He was predeceased by his father Jerald Nordhus, Sr., and brother Greg Nordhus.
A Celebration of Life for JR will be held Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the VFW Hall in Jordan with full military honors, with another to follow in Missoula, with a date to be announced. Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home of Jordan is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Donations in his name may be made to the Jordan Fire Hall in Jordan.