James William Howerton was born July 24, 1981 in Missoula, Montana to Jeniece Howerton and Robert Reukauf. He gained a father Gary Palmer and brother Jeff Palmer in 1986 and the family settled in Sula. James graduated Darby High School in 2000.
James was always the adventurous outdoorsman. He was passionate about everything that included fun in the Bitterroot. He was an avid snowboarder and worked at Lost Trail Powder Mountain. His spring times were filled with shed and morel mushroom hunting by the truckload. Summers were for mountain biking, rafting and kayaking. Fall was for archery and rifle hunting, bringing meat to the family table. He took all of these to the extreme, a true adrenaline junkie!
James worked construction and jumped in to assist with hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, he was involved with the space shuttle recovery in Nevada and he worked as a wildland firefighter and followed with reforestation afterwards. He opened his own business, JW Chinking and chinked and stained many of the log homes in the Bitterroot, Idaho and a few other states. He spent some time in Florida working hurricane relief and enjoyed the new adventures that Florida had to offer, learning to dive and deep sea fishing, even feeding the alligators that came into the back yard.
Jamie always wore his heart on his sleeve and was always close to his family and friends. Growing up he was his Grandpa Clyde’s little side-kick and on Thursday, September 10, 2020 they were reunited in joy.
James informally adopted his daughters Jaden Rain and Maisy Stone who he loved and protected as together they enjoyed many concerts and other activities.
James is survived by his mother Jeniece Howerton Palmer, fathers; Rob Reukauf and Gary Palmer, brother; Jeff Palmer, Grandparents; Bill and Verna Molenda, Uncles; Earl and Marvin Shewmake, Dennis, Kenneth and Steven Palmer, Aunts; Grace Shewmake and Mary Palmer, his daughters; Maisy and Jaden, his cousins and numerous friends as well as his faithful companion Crow Bar.
As we mourn the loss of James we want everyone to know that he faced the adversity of addiction as bravely as possible and if love alone could have saved him, he would still be with us today. He would want his brothers from WATch to know that he loved you and please continue this fight.
Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Daly-Leach Chapel with a Celebration of Jamie’s life to be held at 5:30 on Wednesday, September 16 at the Daly-Leach Chapel with Pastor John Yuhas officiating. Private family interment will take place at a later date.
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