Jim Parker (Ralph James), age 77 of Fairfield, MT, passed away on December 22, 2022 after suffering a major heart attack.
Jim was born on December 9, 1945 in Great Falls, Montana to Ralph and Ethel Parker. After Jim graduated Simms High School in 1964, he went on to study at Northern Montana College where he met his wife of 56 years, Sharon Ann Grimm.
Jim was drafted into the Army in October of 1966. He was commissioned to Tennessee to attend maintenance school. He then received orders to go into the Infantry field and moved to Texas. The Army then had him go to Officer Training School in Fort Knox. Jim then went to Viet Nam where he served one tour where he was first Lieutenant. Jim was honorably discharged with several honors and medals in 1969.
After leaving the service, Jim was able to be a family man. Jim was a beloved husband to Sharon. They had three children, Laurie (Jim) Gorence, Russell (Lisa) Parker, and Kurt Parker. They have six grandchildren: Zachary, Grant, Gabrielle, Jack, Casey, and Cayla; bonus grandchildren Courtney (Danny) Arabis and Preston (Holly) Gorence.
Jim returned to college and went on to receive his Masters in Animal Science from Montana State University. From there he became Extension Dairy Specialist for the University. He then moved to Idaho and became the State Dairy Specialist. In Idaho, he was recruited by Westfalia Systemat/Surge to become their product and sales specialist. Westfalia took him all over the world! He was in Germany, Australia, Austria, France, Greece, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and England. He even has a piece of the Berlin Wall!
Jim was predeceased by his father, Ralph. Jim is survived by his mother, Ethel. He is also survived by his wife, Sharon, children: Laurie (Jim), Russ (Lisa), and Kurt; as well as six grandchildren Zachary, Grant, Gabrielle, Jack, Casey, and Cayla, and bonus grandchildren Courtney (Danny) Arabis, and Preston (Holly) Gorence. Jim is also survived by his four siblings Bonnie (Vernon) Andersen, Gary (Marilyn) Parker, Randy (Carie) Parker, and Bruce (Dawn) Parker, several nieces and nephews, and many lifelong, dear friends.
Visitation will be held from 6:30pm to 8:00pm on Thursday; December 29, 2022 at Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home in Choteau, MT. Services and reception will be held at Fort Shaw Bible Church on Friday; December 30, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. with burial and military honors to follow church services at Sun River Cemetery. Casual wear including flannel or purple would be appreciated in Jim’s memory.
In lieu of flowers please send donations in Jim’s name to Disabled American Vetrans or Fort Shaw Bible Church.
Condolences may be left on-line at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com