James M. Rodgers, 85, died Monday, May 16, 2011, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, Mont., of natural causes.
Cremation has taken place and his memorial graveside service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, May, 24, 2011, at the Calvary section of Highland Cemetery with Pastor Cleve McSwain officiating.
Burial will follow. A fellowship luncheon will be held at the Eagles Club immediately after the graveside services. Memorial contributions in James’ honor may be made to the Gift Of Life, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59405. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.
James was born Sept. 9, 1925 in Anaconda, Mont., the son of Amel and Francis (Reagan) Rodgers. He graduated from St. Peter's High School in 1943 where he played four years of football. He joined the U.S. Army in November 1943 and was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant. He was awarded the combat infantry badge and several citations. He fought in France, Germany and Austria. He worked as a smelter operator, a miner, lumber yard worker and a custodian at the Duck Inn, which he claims was the best job he ever had. He retired from the Duck Inn in 1994. He married Inez Passon on Nov. 17, 1972. They had 25 good years together before she passed away in 1997.
James was a member of the Eagles, the V.F.W. and the American Legion. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, going out to the Bear's Paw Mountains, his Juicy Fruit gum and his beer.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Inez, in 1997; one sister, Agnes Johnson; and one brother, Joe Rodgers.
James is survived by his special grandchildren and caretaker, Lora Hanson of Havre, Mont.; Gayle Lehman of Fort Benton, Mont.; and Bill Fisk of Havre, Mont.; three stepchildren, Betty Shropshire of Denver, Colo., Carol Upshaw of Chinook, Mont., and Jim Passon of Havre, Mont.; 17 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.