- Your Town
James D. Hoiness
Red Lodge is lessened by the passing of Jim Hoiness on June 3, 2014 at the age of 84.
Jim was born the younger of two children to Clarence and Beth Hoiness in Billings. He graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1948 and from Montana State College in 1952, where he was the student body president and a proud member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, where he also served as president.
Jim reported for duty at the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Ga., on Oct. 1, 1952. He served with the 82nd Airborne, spent some time in Korea and was honorably discharged in September of 1954.
On Aug. 12, 1956 Jim married Paula Jean Dybdal and they had three children, Michael, Beth and Stuart.
Work was important to Jim. He spoke often of his early morning paperboy duties and of his summer ranch work in Montana, Wyoming and Oregon. Tho s e chi ldho od j obs enabl ed him t o save enough money to buy his first car, a 1932 Model B Ford Coupe. That work ethic was learned early and continued throughout a successful professional life.
Jim started working for his father at the C. M. Hoiness Insurance Agency after returning from the service. Along with his cousin Peter Hoiness, Bud LaBar and many others, he eventually built the largest insurance agency between Minneapolis and Seattle, then called Hoiness LaBar Insurance.
Upon selling Hoiness LaBar to First Bank System in 1984, Jim moved to Minneapolis where he ran their insurance division as President. After two long years of corporate life, he gave up working for a living in 1986 and with Karen Sjoberg headed down the Mississippi River for a year of motor yachting. Jim and Karen settled on a small farm in Ashland, Ore., where they married in 1990. Jim loved the life of a farmer where something always needed his attention. Jim was also actively involved in building Habitat for Humanity houses in the Rogue Valley. They returned to Montana, settling in Red Lodge in 2003.
Jim was deeply generous of his time and money. He had a strong love for people, travel, adventure, family, philanthropy and hard work. He lived his life to the fullest.
The family wishes to thank the caregivers at The Willows for the loving tenderness they showed Jim throughout his memory loss and during his final illness. C J, Kilah, Shelly, Brittney, Shawna, Joanie, Sharon, Carrie and Elli shared their hearts with him as they cared for him. Doctor Billy Oley and Doctor Bill George gave him kindness and patience as well as good care and eased the family’s concerns and fears throughout.
Jim is survived by his children Michael (wife Cindi), Beth (husband Jeff), Stuart (wife Randi); 7 grandchildren; and his wife and companion of 30 years, Karen.
Memorial services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, June 6 at the Red Lodge Community Church. A recept i on f o l l owed at the Beartooth Elks Lodge. Smith-Olcott Funeral Chapel of Red Lodge assisted with the arrangements.
Memorials can be given to Habitat for Humanity, Beartooth Billings Clinic Foundation or the charity of one’s choice.