James R. Jones, known to many as Jimmy, passed away on Thursday, November 3, surrounded by four of his sons while hunting elk in Eastern Montana. Jim was born in Glendive, MT on February 25, 1954 to Jim and Clara Jones.
The Jones family moved to Polson in 1961 where they owned and operated the Pondera Bar and Restaurant. Upon graduation from Polson High School in 1972, Jim enlisted in the Navy as a Seabee during the Vietnam War where he was assigned to a team that built the base at Diego Garcia. He met Debra Pruitt in California as he finished his Naval service.
They moved to Polson and were married in 1976. Jim was trained as a mechanic and a heavy equipment operator. He worked for Lake County for 35 years, served on the Polson Volunteer Fire Department for about 23 years, and taught Hunter’s Safety to many youth in the community.
He loved hanging out with family and friends telling stories. He also enjoyed the outdoors hunting and fishing with his kids. He made efforts to spend special time with each of his grandchildren based on their interests. He took his mechanical passions into retirement, working on small engines, stock cars, and gunsmithing. He loved his family and treated everyone as his family. He was affectionately known as “Papa” by many.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Deb; his parents; brother Tom; and brother-in-law, Hank.
Jim is survived by sons, Jason (Katrina), Donald (Stephanie), Kristopher (Jessie), Andrew, and Aaron (Beth); daughter, Cindy; ten grandchildren; and two great grandchildren and his sister, Karen.