Jim was born on May 12th, 1928 in the old Darcy Hospital in Miles City to Pete and Eleanor (Ella) (Jurica) Thulesen, the second of three children between, first, Ina (McRae) and third, Jerry. He spent his growing up years on the family ranch in the Powderville area on Corral Creek doing many of the things a country boy would do in the 30’s & 40’s like riding around the countryside with his brother, Jerry on their horse “Snip” using him as a diving platform in the reservoirs and digging out coyote pups. In addition, he had many adventures with neighbor boys Howard Moths and Eddie Iron.
He attended all eight grades at the Corral Creek School built by his father just one mile from home. His schoolmates were some of the Manns, Moths, Madsons, Rawlings, siblings Ina and Jerry and others. He attended high school in Miles at Custer County District High School boarding out at various homes like the Newt Perkins’ and the Edmondson’s home. He finished school early each spring for his junior and senior years to help with the farm work like the planting of spring crops.
Jim met Betty Lou Robinson, youngest daughter of G.L. and Myrtle Robinson, his senior year and courted her at the Jess Sales and Morton places until they were married on November 25th, 1950. From this union was born David, Dick, Karen, Steven, and Elizabeth.
Jim farmed and ranched the original 9 sections of land that eventually became the “Place”, until 1974 when it sold and he moved to Miles City and worked with Ray Perkins Construction. Then started a construction company with his oldest son, Dave. They worked together as “Thulesen and Sons” until 1989 when he semi-retired to do all forms of metal work as a hobby – machining model engines, old car restoration, and the casting and foundry work that he learned associated with forming the little engines and tractors. Despite having large hands, he was very skilled with detail work and made many miniature models in the 1/24th scale. Everyone knew him as an excellent craftsman in metal and wood.
After the death of his youngest son, Steve, to Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2000, Jim and Betty Lou moved to Sheridan, Wyoming to be near their youngest daughter, Libby. Jim spent summers exploring the Bighorn Mountains on his 4-wheeler keeping a couple of old gas station hot dogs wrapped in tin foil in a coat pocket for nourishment. In 2005 they moved to Newell, SD to be near their other daughter, Karen. In 2013, they moved back to Sheridan to be near doctors they liked. It was in Sheridan on April 14th, 2023 that Jim passed away after a battle with colorectal cancer. He was 94 years old. He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Steve. In addition to his sister Ina and brother Jerry, he is survived by his wife Betty Lou, sons David (Lynn) and Dick (Thi Ha Loan); and daughters Karen (John Brennan), and Libby (Mike Morris), 5 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, April 28th, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Grace Bible Church in Miles City. Interment will follow at Custer County Cemetery. In lieu of flowers should friends and family desire a gift in Jim’s memory, please give to “Team Vanuatu” in care of Grace Bible Church in Miles City, Montana.
Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.
Marcy Parks says
Dave, Lynn, and all the family, I am so sorry for your loss! Knowing your dad’s reunited with Steve, and that you’ll see them both again brings tremendous comfort in spite of the pain. Praying for all of you!
Penny Sumer Schmidt says
To all the Thulesen family, especially Karen, I was so sorry to read that your husband/dad had passed away. It sounds like he had a wonderful life. I hope your memories bring you comfort and peace. My deepest sympathies.
Amanda R Malley says
I hadn’t seen Jim in many years, he was my great-uncle. I remember him being very kind and funny. Many condolences to the Thulesen family.
Marcia Heydt says
To the Thulesen Family, I am sorry for the loss of the family patriarch. RIP Jim, God’s speed… you were a very fine man.
Ruben and June Opp says
Betty Lou, and all of the Thulesen family, we send our condolences to you all,it has been so long that we have seen you all. Our prayers and thoughts are that God will comfort you all as you mourn the loss of your loved one. We remember Jim as a very kind gentleman. Looking forward to meeting once again in heaven.
God Bless and comfort you all now and in the days ahead.
Ruben and June Opp
Maureen Larson says
Dave, Lynn and all the family,
So very sorry for your loss. My heart and prayers go out to all of you. May the many memories you have bring you peace and comfort now and in the days to come. God’s peace to all!
Dave and Cindy Carter Burris says
Our thoughts and prayers on this loss of a life well lived. May memories help you through this time.
Bobbi Durst Askin says
What a lovely man! We so enjoyed having him work for us and help put in our new kitchen cupboards years ago. He was so pleasant and easy to work with. Many blessings to the entire family.
Mike & Judy Toennis Family says
Our thoughts and prayers are with your families.
Gerald & Janet Himelspach says
Betty Lou and family, we are so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Our deepest sympathy to the family. I’ll always remember Jim’s teasing; we cherish our memories.
Shannon & Bryan says
Dave, we didn’t know your dad but reading his life history we wish we had. He sounded like a phenomenal person. Our sympathy to all who loved him.
Linda (Valley) Meidinger says
Betty Lou and family, So sorry to learn of Jims passing. Havent seen you for years and have wondered what ever happened to you and where you went. You do come up in a conversation every once in a while when and old memory comes up invoving Jim or both of you. One of them is being at your home for dinner when you lived at the MIchels addition and we had that terrible hail storm.
I remember helping refurbish and old vehicle for him when I was married before and we had a body shop in Miles City. I do remember seeing him drive the car in the Bucking horse sale parade.
He was once special caring and fun man to have around. May he rest in peace. He had a great life history. Love and prayers to all of you with deepest sympaty.
Tom and Lillian Ostendorf says
May Jim rest in peace. He was a good man and friend for all these years. Our sincere condolences.
Bob and Rita George says
Many great memories of Jim. Sorry to hear of his passing. Prayers for all the family.
Bruce Klapmeier says
Dave, sorry to hear of your dads passing. What a great guy. Enjoyed getting to know you both working down in Broadus.
Bernadette Flemming Miller says
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Donna Leitholt-Taylor says
Dave, Lynn and family, I am sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers
Ken Minow says
Dick,sure sorry to hear about your Dad.Not only a kind,decent guy, but an absolutely true craftsman,from carpentry to metal fabrication.My condolences to the entire Thulesen family.
Kelly Tytlandsvik says
Our condolences to the Thulesen family. I first met Jim at the Culberston Montana threshing bee where he was displaying his model engines. In the following years he would attend the Estevan Model Engineering Show where we were pleased to have him display his excellent machine work! RIP Jim
Mary Kings Grube says
Dave & Lynn:
I’m so sorry for your loss. What an amazing life that he lived, and very talented. Dave I now know where your talent comes from. May he rest in peace. Love and prayers.
Pam (Moths) Nisley and Dave says
Our “other” parents, Jim and Betty Lou 🙂 such treasured friends, through the thick and thin!!! Ranching neighbors, blizzards, high spring run off, rides to school in the cab of His JD tractor! Too many warm memories through the decades! Thankful for all this dear family, and thrilled we share faith in Jesus, and will always be together!
Our continued prayers for comfort and peace, for you all!!!
Myrna and Mike Higgins says
Prayers and love to all of the Thulesen family. So many memories of conversations with Jim and being allowed to be a part of his life while neighbors ( just across the way from the church). He gave a verse one night at a church meeting that was “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom”. Did not know this verse but have never forgotten it! What a day that will be when we are all together in Heaven! Love you Betty Lou and know the Lord keeps you safe.
lynn Strobel says
Dave, Lynn and family, We are sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Jim was such a nice man. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Lynn and Judy Strobel
Joyce Freeman says
Dave, Lynn and family I am sorry for your loss. Prayers for all.
Bertha L Kramlich says
Jim was the chairman of the Spring Creek school board the year I taught there 1959-1960. It was hilarious when he played Santa at the Christmas program, passing out the treats. As it happened, he introduced me to my husband that fall. Always pleasant demeanor and a way of telling you something important in a very few words. Both Jim and Bettylou — unforgettable people! I feel so thankful that we were able to become friends. Such a gift.
Celeste & Ron Askin says
Our condolences to all, such a wonderful man and family. Wishing you peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow.
Bobbi Carlson says
Our condolences from Jim’s Uncle Alvins family,: Bobbi Jean, Kayreen, Sandra, and Leo. We are so glad that we met up with Jim and BettyLou during the Jurica’s 100th anniversary homestead reunion in 2016 in Powderville. Ina and Jerry were there also. A wonderful family reunion of Anton and Claire Jurica’s descendents. Our love, thoughts, and prayers are with all of you.
Bill Moths says
I have always treasured the memories I have of growing up on Corral Creek with the Thulesens. Jim was always working on a project of some sort, from adding indoor plumbing and septic system to the homestead to building a hoopie (with real bucket seats). I always knew Jim as quiet and gentle man and always had a helping hand to give. One of my vivid memories of Jim was on one of our spring time rides to the school house when the roads turned to mud. Jim was driving one of his recently acquired “new” cars, a late 50’s model Chrysler with a push button automatic transmission. The car had become stuck in the mud and Jim was not able to rock the car back and forth because of the delay in shifting with buttons. I recall as Jim was evaluating the situation and walking around the car, I heard him grumble…”This car couldn’t pull a sick a chicken out of it’s nest”. That was another of the times that we ended walking a couple miles in the mud. R.I. P. Jim. See you on the other side, Love you all.
Deb Bartholomew and Family says
Karen and Families:
So sorry for your loss. Treasure your memories as they will help thru difficult days ahead. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
RICH Robinson says
RIP UNCLE JIM
Allen & Cindy Kelm says
Betty Lou, Dave, Dick, Karen and Libby may you cherish the memories of your husband/dad as he was a man of many adventures and stories. I remember that he always had a project of some sort going on in the house or garage. His hands and mind were never idle. I’m sure this is where Dave and Dick learned to be as successful with their hands as they are. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family as Jim may be gone, but not forgotten. He has left his legacy with a wonderful family and great memories. May he be reunited with Steve and rest in peace.
Mary and Don Luhr says
So sorry for your loss! May your wonderful memories sustain you. Thoughts and prayers go to the entire family.