SHERIDAN, Mont. -- James Courtney Edwards died Thursday morning, Oct. 11, 2007, in the Ruby Valley Hospital, surrounded by friends and family. Jim predeceased his sister (AJ) Agnes Jeanne Golubin McCarthy by 12 hours.
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Jim was born in Butte to Richard and Veronica (Courtney) Edwards. He attended Butte High School and then began his career as a geological draftsman for the Anaconda Company.
In 1940 he married Helen Hirschy, with whom he spent the next joyous 67 years.
During World War II, he served in the Navy, after which he returned to Montana and the Anaconda Company. While there, his longing to be a rancher could wait no more, so he and Helen bought their first ranch in Browns Gulch. That worked out so well that they moved on to a ranch in Manhattan and then to several in the Ruby Valley.
During these years Jim's life was filled with a multitude of activities, bringing both personal joy and public acclaim. His love of art and unending talent manifested itself in many ways. Jim was a noted cartoonist (local, regional and national circulation), cowboy poet, book author, member of the Madison County writer's group, photographer and western bronze sculptor.
His civic minded nature, coupled with his love of history and preservation of the West, made him a sought-after historian. He was the curator of the Virginia City Watkins Museum, sat on the Virginia City Library Board, worked with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance and was a member of the South Western Montana Marketing Association, the Madison County Planning Board, the SCS, FHA and Garden Creek Grazing Association.
In his spare time he was one of the founding members of the Hungarian Horse Association of America, was an active Buckskinner (adhering to historic accuracy-re-enactions), was known as an accomplished saddle maker and was a school trustee.
Jim is survived by his wife, Helen, and niece, G.G.
Memorials are preferred to the Ruby Valley Hospital in Sheridan.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Laurin.
K&L Mortuaries of Sheridan is in charge of arrangements.
K & L Mortuaries
109 West Second
Whitehall, MT 59759
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 21, 2007