James "Jim" Cole, 60, of Bozeman passed away suddenly over the weekend of July 23, 2010, from natural causes.
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Jim was a photographer, naturalist, author, musician and educator who hiked more than 27,000 miles in Montana, Wyoming and Alaska backcountry to view the Grizzly Bear in its natural habitat and to learn its ways.
Jim's ultimate goal was to educate as many people as possible in every way that he could, through his beautiful photos, writings and music, about the wonder of the amazing and imaginative animal that is the Grizzly Bear. He especially enjoyed giving presentations for local grade school classes, hopefully instilling in them his love and admiration for the Great Bear. His writings and presentations included highlighting the Great Bear's intelligence, resourcefulness, and adaptation to changing environments and human encroachment. It was Jim's hope that his audiences and readers came away with a healthy respect for the Great Bear. In Jim's words, "I want to put myself out there to do everything that I can to help protect grizzly bears and the remaining wilderness of North America that is their home."
Jim was born Jan. 4, 1950, in Chicago, Ill., and formerly resided in Boulder, Colo., and Highland Park, Ill. Jim was an alumnus of the University of Colorado's School of Journalism, and he was a member of the men's varsity tennis team.
Professionally, Jim also had a successful career in commercial real estate as a partner in The Colorado Group, Boulder, Colo.
Jim wrote and published three books on Grizzly Bears: "Lives of Grizzlies: Montana and Wyoming," "Lives of Grizzlies: Alaska," and, most recently, "Blindsided, Surviving a Grizzly Attack and Still Loving the Great Bear," which is a memoir and recounting of his two Grizzly Bear attacks.
Surviving to recall his wonderful life are his stepmother, Marcia Cole, his niece and nephew, Cara Specks and Jeff Specks; his loving cousin, Carole (Dr. Melvin) Kolb; two stepbrothers, Louis Grant and William Grant and their families; his beloved friends and "brothers," Richard Berman and Ron Giangiorgi and their families; and dozens of other close personal friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Robert Cole; his mother, Lois Kennis (Ehrenhalt); and his sister, Linda Specks.
The plans for an appropriate memorial and service for Jim are pending, and when made will be posted at www.grizzlystories.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Aug. 1, 2010