James Michael Clark Sr.

HAVRE Longtime Havre resident James "Jim" Michael Clark Sr., 66, died of complications from renal cell carcinoma Wednesday, April 3, at Benefis Health System in Great Falls.

His funeral is 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Jude Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Highland Park Cemetery and a reception will take place at the MSU-Northern gymnasium. Holland and Bonine Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Jim was born Dec. 5, 1946, in Havre, to James I and Sophie (Simko) Clark. He attended grade school at St. Jude's and graduated from Havre Central High School in 1965. After high school, Jim joined the U.S. Navy and served on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid during the Vietnam War. He was a part of carrier operations against the North Vietnamese.

On July 25, 1970, Jim married the love of his life, Betty Mae Schmidt of Fairfield. They had three children, James Jr. (deceased); Jenny Lee and her family of Choteau; and Jamee Cameron and her family of Townsend. Jim and Betty were devoted parents, trailing the kids around the country as they participated in 4-H and rodeo events in grade school, high school and college. They were very proud of their kids' accomplishments in school, sports and work.

Jim worked as a machinist for the Burlington Northern Railroad from 1970 till 1993 when he retired due to rheumatoid arthritis. Jim then went on to pursue a college education at Northern Montana College at the age of 47. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in education from Northern in 1994. Jim spent several years substituting at both Havre Public and Havre Central schools. In 2000, Jim and Betty bought the Havre Sears store in the Holiday Mall until ill health forced him to retire in 2010. Jim enjoyed his time as the owner of Sears. It seemed that he knew everyone on the Hi-Line and they knew him. Many in Havre and the Hi-Line will miss his quick smile, big heart and gentle banter.

Jim loved the outdoors and especially hunting. He never tired of talking with anyone and everyone about the upcoming season. Even though his mobility diminished, his dreams included hunting and just being with those who were in the field. Even if it was just riding along, Jim saw it as a good time and a chance to swap stories.

Jim's survivors include his wife, Betty of Havre; daughters Jennifer (Justin) Lee of Choteau and Jamee (Roddy) Cameron of Townsend; grandchildren Ellie, Gus and Preston Lee of Choteau and Ridge Cameron of Townsend; brothers Dick Clark and Tim (Anna Marie) Clark of Helena; nephew and niece Thomas and Sophie Clark of Helena; mother-in-law Esther Schmidt of Choteau; sister-in-law Florence Armagost of Mobile, Ala., and brother-in-law Harlan (Sherril) Schmidt of Reno, Nev.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Sophie Clark; his son, James M. Clark Jr.; father-in-law Herb Schmidt; brother-in-law Bob Armagost; and several aunts and uncles.

Memorials in Jim's honor may be made to St. Jude School; ; or a .

Condolences may be posted online at www.gftribune.com/obituaries.

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 5, 2013