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James Dean AndrewsNovember 19, 1938 ~ August 29, 2017 (age 78)
STEVENSVILLE – James (Jim) D. Andrews, 78, of Stevensville passed away Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at his home. He was born on November 19, 1938 in Sterling, Colorado the son of the late Harry M. and Dora F. (Schachterle) Andrews.
Jim was raised outside of Fleming, Colorado, helping his parents on the family wheat farm that was homesteaded by his grandfather in the late 1800s. He attended a one room schoolhouse for grade school and Fleming High School. Jim was active in athletics, lettering in track and football, playing all four years of his high school career. He was class president his senior year, graduating in 1956. It was then off to Colorado State University in Ft. Collins to earn his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1960. During his college years he was active as a resident assistant in the dorms and worked on neighboring farms in the summer to earn the money for his education.
After graduating from CSU Jim moved to Carson City, Nevada, to take a job with the Bureau of Land Management as a Civil Engineer and while in Nevada he met Ruth Stewart and the two began their life together. Their courtship began on the ski slopes of Squaw Valley and they didn’t miss a ski season for 52 years. On April 5, 1964 Jim and Ruth were married in Reno, Nevada, and bought their first house in Carson City. In 1966 their eldest daughter, Beth, was born and after three years in Carson City, Jim transferred to Shoshone, Idaho. While working in Shoshone, Jim, Ruth and Beth spent all their spare time camping and salmon fishing in Stanley Basin and trout fishing in the Magic Valley. In the fall, Jim would hunt for elk and pheasant, and each winter the three would spend their weekends skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho.
After three years in Shoshone, Jim transferred again, but this time to the big city of Portland, Oregon. Here their youngest daughter, Tiffanie, was born. In Oregon Jim and Ruth bought a camping trailer and started spending a lot of their spare time at the Oregon Coast. Jim went on his first chartered salmon fishing trip in the ocean and he was hooked. Every summer was spent at the coast fishing for salmon and tuna. In the mid-70’s the family was on a trip to Hawaii to visit family and Jim also had the opportunity to catch a large Blue Marlin. Jim was eventually joined by Ruth, Beth and Tiffanie on the trips once everyone was old enough for deep sea fishing. Winters would find the whole family up at Mt. Hood Meadows every weekend downhill skiing.
During the Bicentennial Jim had the opportunity and was assigned to Washington D.C. for 3 months to work on the Alaska Pipeline Project. The entire family joined him and had an outstanding time touring the city, learning about all the history and just enjoying being together. The family would often turn Jim’s work related trips into family vacations and spend extra time wherever he had to be into learning about the area and the great nation we call home. Jim’s work with the BLM gave keen insight into available camping areas, unique history and the special sights to be seen.
In the early 80’s, Jim finally realized the dream of becoming a private pilot. He would take the entire family on flights around the area, to include a private trip around the aftermath of the Mt. St. Helens eruption once the area was again open to flights.
After working in Portland, Oregon, for 20 years and both girls onto college, Jim and Ruth moved to Anchorage, Alaska, for the last years before Jim retired. Still being very adventurous, they drove from Portland with their two dogs to Anchorage on the Alcan Highway. This trip began on December 1 and after a week of lots of snow, ice and temperatures ranging from 45-55 below zero they arrived in fine form in Anchorage. There they lived under the Northern Lights for 10 fantastic years. Jim took lots of opportunities to Halibut fish out of Homer, Alaska, and at least one float plane trip to the backcountry for salmon. One summer his daughter Beth and her husband joined Jim and Ruth on a ferry to Kodiak for a week’s fishing vacation. They caught many fish and saw many grizzly tracks in the mud, but thankfully none of the grizzlies that made the tracks. In Anchorage Jim and Ruth were able to continue to pursue their love of skiing, spending every winter weekend at Alyeska Ski Resort. In the summers they picked up a new sport and began their adventures with skeet and sporting clays.
After retiring from his post with BLM while stationed in Alaska, Jim and Ruth purchased a new trailer and reluctantly left the Northern Lights and wonderful winters and headed back down to the lower 48 to be closer to family. They spent their first month as a retired couple retracing their track down the Alcan Highway, and, since it was summer this time, they were able to enjoy more sights and spend time exploring along the way. They found the beautiful Bitterroot Valley in Montana, and decided that they would settle there for retirement. Jim and Ruth were able to continue skiing and shooting sporting clays. They eventually found themselves running the 5 Stand at Hamilton Trap Club on Wednesdays. Volunteering at the 5 Stand was truly the highlight of Jim’s retirement. He delighted in setting the course each week and spending time visiting with the many friends that came each Wednesday. Jim and Ruth traveled to many nearby sporting clay events and enjoyed competing and assisting with them. Jim continued to hunt with friends, traveling to Jordan for antelope and Oregon for pheasant and chukar.
Jim is survived by his wife Ruth of Stevensville; daughter Beth and husband Peter Wild of Gresham, Oregon; daughter Tiffanie and husband Jeff Rost of Adams, Oregon; brother John A and wife Elaine Andrews of Albuquerque, New Mexico; sister Anna May (Andrews) and husband Leroy Pyle of Sterling, Colorado; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins around the country.
A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton, MT with Chaplain Michael G Boston officiating.
The family suggests that memorials be made to the Hamilton Montana Trap Club Youth Program at PO Box 672, Hamilton, Montana 59840, or the National Rifle Association.