Jim Lake, 56, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on January 20, 2019, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
Jim was born September 19,1962, to Roy & Evelyn Lake in Ronan, MT. Jim grew up on the family farm, he was active in the farm operations, 4-H, and school sports. Jim received ‘All State’ and ‘All Conference’ awards in football, he also enjoyed swimming, snow skiing, backpacking and riding his motor bike.
Jim’s senior year of high school, near his 17th birthday, he was in a motorcycle accident, which tragically left him a paraplegic. He moved to Cashmere WA, for physical therapy, accompanied by his grandmother, Agnes Lake, and brother, Jack Lake. They worked as a team, and moved home in time for Jim to graduate high school, with the group of close friends he grew up with. Jim had hilarious wit, was fun loving, and adored by all who knew him. He was generous, kind hearted, and prided himself on being independent.
After graduation, Jim lived in Coeur d’Alene, ID, and Grand Coulee, WA. He co-owned a race horse with sister, Tammy, and enjoyed racing on the Washington and Canadian circuits. He moved to Missoula, MT, and worked at the US Post Office for 16 years. During that time, he fed his ‘need for speed’ by snowmobiling, and in the off season, raced the machines in grass drag’s. He won several awards, including ‘Rookie of the Year’ and was nicknamed "Rocket Man", inspired from a newspaper article on him. He had a fantastic group of friends that he enjoyed his sport with. After Jim lost several friends in an avalanche, he hung up his helmet.
When health issues forced Jim to quit his job, Jim moved back to Ronan, and filled the position of ‘dispatch’ and ‘motorcycle mechanic’, on the Metzger Ranch. They enjoyed 10 years together, then Jim moved back to the Lake farm. He spent time on his side-by-side touring the back roads and fishing the rivers. Jim remained resilient through a lifetime of adversity.
Jim is survived by his parents, Roy and Evelyn Lake; Jack (Susan) kids: Katie, Charla, Jamie, Kelly; Tammy (Lonnie) Metzger & kids: Dee Dee, Cody, Trent, Ryan & Amber; Loretta (Gary) Glaze & kids: Desirae, Byron; Marlene (Dan) Roullier & kids: Colton & Brennan; Rhonda (Bruce) White; and several great nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Services will be held on Saturday, January 26th at 11:00 am, at Terrace Lake Community Church 35663 Terrace Lake Road, Ronan.