Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel, 500 N. 18th East St., in Mountain Home, with Pastor Neil Evans officiating. Graveside services with military honors by American Legion Post No. 26, will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Mountain Home.
Jim was born Aug. 13, 1918, in Walters, Okla., the youngest of nine children. His mother died when he was 11, and he "always remembered how she would pray with him every night before bed," his family said.
Jim was also close to his dad, "Papa," who died in 1958, and was buried in California. Jim had a strong desire to have his dad buried next to his mother in Oklahoma and 20years later he accomplished that by personally moving his dad's body to Oklahoma for burial next to his mother. "Jim was a great storyteller and telling the story of that move was one of his favorites," his family said.
At age 17, Jim moved from Oklahoma to California where he worked as a farm hand, then as a truck driver, hauling potatoes and onions to Los Angeles produce markets. He later worked for Lockheed Aircraft as foreman for two hydraulic departments.
Jim fought in World War II in Patton's 3rd Army, 80th Infantry Division, on the front lines in Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Germany, and Austria. While in Europe, Jim earned the Combat Infantry Badge and three Battle Star medals. He also earned a Bronze Star for action beyond the call of duty by carrying a wounded soldier back through enemy lines to get medical attention.
Jim's most memorable battle was one in which his squad of 38 men were pinned down under three-way machine gun cross-fire and were strafed by nine enemy fighter planes.
He was one of only five men in his company who made it out of the initial battle alive. "Jim and the other four soldiers regrouped with reinforcements and went back in to finish the battle in victory," his family noted.
After the war, Jim returned to southern California where he met and married his wife of 52 years, Inez, in 1947.
Jim worked for an agricultural chemical company as a field representative and farmed during the next several years.
At age 41, Jim decided he wanted to learn to fly so he first bought an airplane and then talked a cropdusting friend into giving him lessons. "He was never afraid to tackle new things," his family said.
In 1959, Jim and Inez bought a farm and moved to the Blackfoot, Idaho, area. "The work was hard, but the friendships were priceless and lasting," his family noted.
In 1969, Jim and Inez moved to Mountain Home where Jim started Mesa Equipment, a John Deere Implement business. Jim and Inez ran the business together for 16 years.
"Again, they worked hard and thoroughly enjoyed the friendships they made and the community involvement they had in Mountain Home," his family said. The John Deere business gave them numerous opportunities for traveling together and one of their favorite trips was to Europe where they visited several of the places Jim had been in WWII.
Jim and Inez moved to Boise in 1996 so that Inez could receive further treatment for her cancer. Jim cared for her until she died in 1999. He then moved back to Mountain Home in 2001.
"Jim was passionate about his faith, his family, his friends, hard work, and education," his family said. "He regretted that he had not had the opportunity to receive more formal education, but was thankful for the successes he had through his hard work, dedication, strong will and the grace of God.
"He loved to farm and garden and he believed his most successful years in life were in farming.
"He loved spending time with his family and sharing stories of his life with them.
"He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, always going above and beyond for those he cared for. He was a huge presence in the life of his family, respected, wise and with a vast amount of love," his family said.
Jim is survived by: his daughter, Jan Branin; his son, James McIntyre;five granddaughters, one grandson, and several great-grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Inez, five brothers and three sisters.