By HDN staff
JAMES J. PASMA
James J. Pasma, 66, a resident of Havre, died Tuesday, Nov. 2, 1999, at his residence of natural causes.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Friday at the Havre High School Auditorium with Leo Beardsley officiating. Burial will follow at the Highland Cemetery.
Pasma was born Jan. 16, 1933, at Helena, to James Budd Starr and Evelyn Starr. He was adopted in 1935, by Jay and Elsie Pasma of Havre. He attended Daniels and Burnham Elementary Schools west of Havre. He worked on ranches in Blaine and Hill counties. In 1952, he joined the U.S. Marine Corp. He served at San Diego, Ocean Side, Calif., Indian Springs, Nev., and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was honorably discharged in 1955, as Sergeant. After his discharge he immediately joined the Army National Guard in Havre and became Civic Administrator for Troop E of the National Guard in 1955.
On Aug. 20, 1955, he married Virginia Shaffer in Havre. He was honorably discharged as Master Sergeant E-8 in 1968. He later became actively involved in the community. He was active in PTA while his children attended elementary school. He was also a Scout Master of the Boy Scout Troop 36 from 1955 to 1965.
It was during this period that Pasma became active in politics managing the Hill County campaign of Republican Harriette Miller and assisting with campaigns of Democrat Senator Lee Metcalf and Presidential Candidate John Kennedy.
Pasma was elected Hill County Democratic Party Chairman in October of 1965, and continued to serve as chairman for 11 terms. He was elected secretary of the Montana Senate in 1967. In 1968, he served on the Steering Committee for Robert Kennedy.
In 1968 he was President and Founder of the Miss Montana Scholarship Pageant which ran from 1968 to 1977, covering 11 north and central Montana counties awarding more than $40,000 in scholarships to young women.
In 1979, he was elected Hill County State Committeeman and re-elected in 1973, 1975, and 1977. In 1971, he was also elected to the Democratic State Executive Board and re-elected in 1973 and 1975. In 1974, he was elected Eastern District Delegate for the National Democratic Partys Charter Convention.
In 1976, Pasma was elected Montana Democratic National Committeeman and re-elected in 1980.
In 1980, he was appointed by Montana Governor to Montana Arts Council. In 1984, he was elected Presidential Elector for Mondale, 1988 for Dukakis, and in 1992, for President Clinton.
In October of 1992, he was a recipient of the National Lawrence OBrien Award in Washington D.C.
In 1993, the State Democratic Party established the Jim Pasma County Effectiveness Award to be presented annually to a distinguished party worker.
In 1996, he was elected as a Presidential Elector for President Clinton.
He devoted his political experience to bringing more women into the political process.
His hobbies included politics, watching old movies, garden flowers, and collecting British Royalty Memorabilia.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jay and Elsie Pasma, a sister, Doris Mueller and biological mother, Evelyn (Starr) Weiss.
Survivors include his wife, Virginia Pasma of Havre; biological father, Merton J. Starr of Fairview; daughters, Farol Ranes of Havre and Victoria Kostelecky of N.D.; sons, Zarren Pasma of California and Zane Pasma of Wyoming; a sister, Goldie Maze of Helena; brothers, Stan and T.J. Starr of Billings, and Ed Starr of California; a daughter-in-law, Renee Pasma of Havre; and six grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to the Montana State University-Northern Scholarship Fund and the Dialysis Unit at Northern Montana Hospital.