JAMES WILSON OWENHOUSE
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Jim Owenhouse loved Montana! Although he was born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 28, 1929, he was a true Montanan! His parents, M. James Owenhouse and Helen Wilson Owenhouse were in a long line of Montana pioneers that dated back to E.J. Owenhouse's arrival in Bozeman in the 1870's.
Jim's parents moved back to Bozeman when he was 6 years old, and he attended both Longfellow and Holy Rosary Schools. He grew up loving the beautiful landscapes of the Gallatin Valley and riding horses into the backcountry with friends. Later, his mom's poor health forced the family to move to California where he and his dad established a chain of hardware stores. For 32 years Jim enjoyed working in the hardware business and expanded 1000 Oaks Hardware into three Bay Area cities.
During that time, he met Ella May Wilcox. They married in 1955 and had two children, Mary Ann and Jay. In 1967, the family was able to return to Montana every summer and enjoy "cabin life" in the Cascade Creek summer home area of the Gallatin Canyon. Jim had spent his childhood summers growing up in this area and delighted in the opportunity to bring his family back to this special place. Often, he would head into the backcountry again on horseback and marvel at the wild game and majestic mountains that constitute "God's Country".
In 1985, Jim finally sold his California hardware stores and moved back to Bozeman. He and Ella May loved this second chapter of their life together and became very active in their church and community. Jim began a new career at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital as the Director of Volunteer Services and the Manager of Lifeline. He served in this capacity for 15 years. He also became active on many community boards including: The Gallatin County Boys Home, Grace Bible Church, Montana Bible College, Bozeman Rotary Club, Gallatin Canyon Homeowners Association, Cascade Creek Homeowners Association, Westridge Meadows Homeowners Association, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Volunteers, and Bozeman Men's Bible Study Board.
Jim was a leader in every facet of his life. He was full of wisdom and was always able to discern new ways to solve problems. He loved mentoring younger businessmen and helping to encourage them in their faith. Jim became zealous in his own faith for the Lord Jesus Christ after studying the Bible in a men's Bible Study Fellowship Class in Walnut Creek, California in the early 1980's. He devoted his life to learning, growing in his faith and serving the Lord through his church and local men's Bible studies. He gave glory to God for the blessed life he lived in Montana with his wife of nearly 60 years. He loved his family deeply and was so proud of each of his children and grandchildren. Jim was an only child and he always expressed his gratitude to God for the many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren he was blessed with: Children: Bob and Mary Ann Noack (Daughter); Grandchildren: Adam Noack and Spencer Noack; Children: Jay and Susan Owenhouse (Son); Grandchildren: John Owenhouse, Peter Owenhouse, Juliana Owenhouse, Christina Owenhouse, and Kelli Jacobson; Great Grandchildren: Addi, Payson and Charli Jacobson.
Jim was also a great lover of animals and most especially the German Shepherds that he enjoyed over the course of his life. He is deeply missed by his family and his beloved dog, Berrie.
In the final days of Jim's life, he repeatedly proclaimed the truth of Romans 10:9-10: "If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."
Jim stepped into the presence of Jesus, his Lord and Savior, on Dec. 2, 2013 at 3 a.m.
A Memorial Service to celebrate Jim's life will be held on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Grace Bible Church in Bozeman Montana.
Special gifts in memory of Jim Owenhouse will contribute to a scholarship fund at the Montana Bible College. Donations in his name may be sent to Montana Bible College, 3625 South 19th Ave, Bozeman, Montana 59718. Or email Jeanie.email@example.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 8, 2013