Monday, April 22, 2024

James R. Jones

| November 17, 2022 12:00 AM

James R. Jones, known to many as Jimmy, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 3, surrounded by four of his sons while hunting elk in Eastern Montana. Jim was born in Glendive on Feb. 25, 1954, to Jim and Clara Jones.

The Jones family moved to Polson in 1961 where they owned and operated the Pondera Bar and Restaurant. Upon graduation from Polson High School in 1972, Jim enlisted in the Navy as a Seabee during the Vietnam War where he was assigned to a team that built the base at Diego Garcia. He met Debra Pruitt in California as he finished his Naval service.

They moved to Polson and were married in 1976. Jim was trained as a mechanic and a heavy equipment operator. He worked for Lake County for 35 years, served on the Polson Volunteer Fire Department for about 23 years, and taught Hunter’s Safety to many youth in the community.

He loved hanging out with family and friends telling stories. He also enjoyed the outdoors and hunting and fishing with his kids. He made efforts to spend special time with each of his grandchildren based on their interests. He took his mechanical passions into retirement, working on small engines, stock cars, and gunsmithing. He loved his family and treated everyone as his family. He was affectionately known as “Papa” by many.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Deb, his parents, brother Tom, and brother-in-law Hank.

Jim is survived by sons, Jason (Katrina), Donald (Stephanie), Kristopher (Jessie), Andrew, and Aaron (Beth); daughter, Cindy; 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren; and his sister, Karen.

Funeral service for “Papa” Jim were held on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Polson. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements are under the care of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.