Jim W. Crow, 95, passed away Nov. 29, 2019, at the Veterans Home in Columbia Falls.
He was born April 24, 1924, in Holdenville, Oklahoma, to Buford and Willa Jewel Crow. He was the second oldest of eight kids; four boys and four girls. After finishing the seventh grade, he quit school to work on the family farm picking cotton, harvesting peanuts and hauling watermelons. At age 15 he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and spent two years in Wyoming and California doing manual labor.
In April 1943, at age 19, he was drafted in the Army. His ship landed at Casa Blanca, North Africa, where they trained for an amphibious landing on Anzio Beach, Italy. He was wounded and sent to Naples for medical care. He rejoined his unit just days before his second amphibious landing at Omaha Beach in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. He was wounded a second time in that battle. His unit continued to Belgium and Germany to finish out the war. He was wounded twice, awarded a Purple Heart and was discharged on Dec. 7, 1945, as a staff sergeant.
Upon returning home to Holdenville, there was no work to be found. So, he and his brother-in-law headed to California to pick apricots. They heard of a job in Alaska, got as far north as Seattle and found out the ship was delayed. They weren’t sure where to go so they went to the bus station and decided to head to Montana. They met a guy who asked them to work in his logging operation. Jim arrived in Kalispell with $13 in his pocket.
Soon after that his luck changed and he met a beautiful girl named Shirley Marsh and became part of her large family. They were married on Oct. 10, 1947, and lived in Kalispell where they raised eight children.
He loved to hunt and fish with family and friends. He worked at the Kalispell Pole and Timber Yard for 33 years. Jim and Shirley went down to Sykes almost every day for lunch and were good friends to the Wise family. After retiring from the lumber job, he worked for Doug caring for his horses. They had a large family with enough love, stories and nicknames for all the kids. The day before their 53rd anniversary, Shirley passed away.
Later in life Jim could be found most mornings at Sykes for breakfast. He was chairman of the Bull Session (BS) table. The ol’ guys would tell stories and try to outdo each other. For the past two years he lived at the Veterans Home where he loved to harass the nurses and aides.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, six siblings, wife Shirley and son Charles “Pete.”
He is survived by his last sibling, Sue Sanders. He is also survived by children Ron (Cheri) Crow, Daryl (Julie) Crow, Michael (Jean) Crow, Judi Hawley, Peggy (Kevin) Marengo, Mary (Jayson) Peters, and Amy (Lincoln) Chute, 16 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, lots of nieces and nephews, and the Marsh family in-laws. He was loved by all and will be missed greatly.
Services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Buffalo Hill Funeral Home. A potluck reception will follow at Sykes at 4:30 p.m.
Military honors will be held at a later date with family at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery.