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James D. Hoiness

RED LODGE, MT - Red Lodge, Montana 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, Montana. 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, Georgia on October 1, 1952. He served with the Eighty Second Airborne, spent some time in Korea and was honorably discharged in September of 1954.

On August 12, 1956 Jim married Paula Jean Dybdal and in this marriage 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. Those childhood jobs enabled him to 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 cousins, Peter Hoiness, Bud LaBar, and many others, he eventually built the largest insurance agency between Minneapolis, Minn. and Seattle, Wash., then called Hoiness LaBar Insurance.

Upon selling Hoiness LaBar to First Bank System in 1984 Jim moved to Minneapolis, Minn. 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 his life on the farm, 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.

Jim is survived by his children, Michael (wife Cindi), Beth Maphis (husband Jeff), and Stuart (wife Randi); seven grandchildren; and his wife and companion of 30 years, Karen.

Services were held June 6, 2014 in Red Lodge, Mont. Memorials can be given to Habitat for Humanity or Beartooth Billings Clinic Foundation or the charity of one's choice.

James D. Hoiness