DUNKIRK - James Harlan McKechnie, 65, longtime Dunkirk-area farmer, died Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005, from complications of cancer at the Marias Extended Care Center in Shelby.
Harlan was born Aug. 7, 1940, in Shelby to James and Ruth (Blackford) McKechnie. Harlan lived his entire life in the Dunkirk community. He received his early education at the Dunkirk School and finished his secondary education in Shelby, where he graduated from high school in 1958. After attending Northern Montana College in Havre, Harlan returned to the family farm at Dunkirk, where he remained active in the farming operations until he was diagnosed with cancer in June of 2004.
In his early years, he enjoyed serving as a professional square dance caller and was especially fond of traditional country western music. Harlan was also active in the 4-H program and had served as a regional director of the National Farmers Organization.
Harlan was married to three women: Bernice Hoffman, Anita Hiebert, and Jo Zeitner. The marriages all ended in divorce.
Harlan was preceded in death by his father, Jim McKechnie, in October 2001.
Survivors include his devoted mother, Ruth McKechnie of Dunkirk; daughters, Julie (Brad) Fisher of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Jill Newman of Bozeman, and Rachel (Aaron) Brown of Cut Bank; sons, James Justin McKechnie of Tampa, Fla., and James Hyer McKechnie of Dunkirk; three granddaughters; one grandson; sisters, Bonnie (Leroy) Flesch of Helena and Eileen (Don) Pettigrew of Shelby; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Devon Lutheran Church in Devon. Burial will follow at the McKechnie family cemetery at Dunkirk.
Memorials can be given to the Marias Extended Care Center or donor's choice.
Arrangements by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester.