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James Alan Schmachtenberger left this world Aug. 15, 2011, at the young age of 54 after a lengthy and courageous battle with melanoma. He was surrounded by his loving family.
Jim was an amazing husband, father, "Papa," son, brother and friend to all who knew him. He was born in Denver, Colo., on Dec. 5, 1956, the middle child of Harold and Edna (Ward) Schmachtenberger. His family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he attended Cottonwood High School and met his wife Leslie Osborne; they married in 1978. Their daughter, Shanie, was born in Salt Lake City. Shortly thereafter they moved to Bozeman, where daughters Wendie and Amie were born.
Jim loved his 35-year career as a truck driver which allowed him to travel throughout the country. He drove for Lehrkinds Coca Cola, Ponderosa Homes, Bradley Trucking and Big Sky Insulations. He would still be driving trucks if his life had not been cut so short.
His true love was to be with his family and watch his grandchildren grow. His favorite activities included racing with the Mountaineers 4X4 club, motorcycles, fishing, photography, and fixing everything. He was very giving and would drop anything to help someone out.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws; and eldest sister, Linda Schmachtenberger.
He is survived by his wife, Leslie; daughters, Shanie (Vinnie) DiBerardinis, Wendie Schmachtenberger and future son-in-law Francis Williams, Amie (Jed) Pierce; grandchildren, Olivia, Ryder, and Tony; siblings, Kathy Schmachtenberger, Pat (Brad) Kiel, Gary (Sara) Schmachtenberger; and brothers-in-law, Richard (Leeann) Osborne, Sean (Brenda) Osborne; many nieces and nephews; and his buddy, Bruno.
Jim's family would like to thank everyone at the Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center and Hospice of Southwest Montana who all took such loving care of him. Donations in Jim's name may be sent to either facility.
A celebration of life will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2915 Colter Ave., Bozeman.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Aug. 19, 2011