James Dale Poor, 77, of Kalispell, Mont. went to be with our Heavenly Father, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. He was born to the late Cecil "Floyd" and Lynn Poor on July 24, 1936 in Livingston, Mont.
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Jim was Christian and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. His life's story was painted literally and figuratively as a man perfectly happy with his place in the universe, and as a loving father, grandfather and teacher who left much to all of those who were touched by his art and creativity. He was extremely passionate about creating and sharing art in all mediums.
Jim married the love of his life, Esther Marie Gettel in 1955 and they lived and raised their family in Great Falls before relocating to Helena and finally to Kalispell, Mont.
Jim received his Bachelor of Arts degree in art and secondary education from Eastern Montana College, Billings, Mont. and a Master of Arts degree at Stanford University, California. Further studies included Montana State University and Ph.D. coursework in art education at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore. Jim taught art in Great Falls before becoming art superintendent for Great Falls Public Schools from 1968-1989. During this time he was also coordinator of secondary curriculum for Great Falls Public Schools along with serving as acting director School of Art, Montana State University, Bozeman. Jim was honored as Montana Art Teacher of the Year by the Montana Arts Education Association in 1981 and also received Fellow Award from the Montana Institute of the Arts. He was honored as the Montana Arts Administrator of the year by the Montana Art Education Association before retiring from Great Falls Public Schools in 1989 and moving to Helena, Mont. There he actively maintained his art studio and continued to exhibit his work throughout the state.
Jim held numerous accomplishments including past president of the Montana Institute of the Arts Foundation; National Art Education Association; National Art Education Association for the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Arts Council; past chairman of the Montana Cultural Advocacy; member of Montana Alliance for Arts Education; Montana Institute of the Arts; Visual Arts Fellowship Panel and representative of the State Capital Complex Advisory Council Helena. Jim's life work was to create, share and teach art and the importance of art in every aspect of life.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Gary and Stanley and his daughter, Julie O'Dell. He is survived by his wife, Esther Poor; his son, Brad Poor and family of Helena; his daughter, Libby Sutherland and family of Columbia Falls; his son, Eric and family of Billings; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by all of his loving family. The family suggests donations be made to the Paris Gibson Square, Great Falls, Mont. or your local museum.
A celebration of life memorial will be held on March 8, 2014 at 4 p.m. at Paris Gibson Square in Great Falls, Mont.
Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for Jim's family. You are invited to go to www.jgfuneralhome.com to view Jim's tribute wall, offer condolences and share memories.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 14, 2014