James Edward Galt, (English/Scottish ancestry), was born, Dec 12, 1930, to Oliver J. (Ollie), & Jessie I. (Tot), Hudson Galt, at their family home on 3rd Avenue South, in Stanford, Mt. He had an older sister, Frances L. Galt Roberts, also many cousins living nearby in Stanford. These & his many friends made for a very happy childhood. Jim helped his Dad with the care of their cattle from an early age. Showing, Galt champion steers & bulls in 4-H & FFA, as well as in many auction rings across Montana, for years. In high school Jim was involved in Annual Staff & also Band. Jim played Trombone from elementary school all through high school. He was selected to attend Montana Boys State, where they voted him in as Deputy Sheriff. But it was his athletic ability that consumed most of his time throughout his years at Stanford schools & beyond. He participated in all sports: Track, Football, Basketball & Baseball. He was a very good Baseball player but it was Basketball where he really excelled. In 1968 SHS published a survey of their top 20 Basketball players & Jim was placed 6th on that prestigious list. After he graduated SHS in 1948, he spent a year at MSU in Bozeman & was in the Army ROTC program-Company K. He also pledged Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. However, in 1951 he transferred to the College of Great Falls, to play basketball for a couple years, for the newly formed, ‘Vagabonds’. (Now UP Argos). This was an exciting time for the young team. While in Great Falls, he also became somewhat of a “Pinball Wizard”. He told of receiving dozens of tickets for ‘Double Parking’ while he was inside an establishment, playing pinball. After he finished his college years, Jim continued playing Independent League ball on various teams & at various venues in Montana, until he was close to 40yrs old. (He received a lifetime admission pass to the annual WIT Tourneys in Lewistown, Mt, where he had been a participant on teams for 10 years).
On June 24, 1951, he married his long-time sweetheart, DeRayn Harris. Jim became a partner in his father’s hardware business in Stanford, (OJ Galt & Son Hardware), and worked at that until the store was sold in the late 1980’s. Jim had a variety of jobs there, including but not limited to, hauling coal & installing & maintaining televisions & other appliances. Jim took over the family farm/ranch operation & raised Registered Black Angus Bulls, (His business cards read: ‘Call Jim & Talk Bull’). He also grew a yearly hay &/or grain crop as well, until he retired in the 1990’s.
In 1954, with the assistance of their families, Jim & DeRayn built a modest home on 2nd Avenue South, in Stanford. Here they raised their four children: twins, James Jay & Jackie Kay, born in 1952; LeAnn Rae, born in 1960 & Robert John, born 1965.
Jim was baptized, 12-19-1937, and confirmed a full member, 4-13-1943, at the Stanford First Presbyterian Church, where his grandparents, parents & many uncles & aunts attended. He served on many local organizations. A few being: City Council, Volunteer Fire Department, 500 Club, 4-H Beef Leader & Judith Basin Republicans. He was the Little League Coach during the years each of his sons played. Later, to supplement the family income, he & DeRayn took jobs as janitors at SHS, for a few years. Jim was also a Bartender for many years, at the various establishments in Stanford. But the job he devoted 25 years to, was ‘Stanford School Bus Driver’, for the Sage Creek Route, plus SHS Team Driver. He was a favorite among the kids & he retired in May of 2003.
Jim & DeRayn were very active in the community & big supporters of SHS athletics. They enjoyed attending dances & hosted many early morning breakfasts. Poker, Pitch, & Pinochle with family & friends were favorite pastimes of Jim’s. As well as attending Horse Races, any time he could get away. His children tell stories of being put into the trunk of the car, in order to save admission fees at the State Fair…and then being turned loose on the midway, while Dad spent the day betting on the ponies. However, he would usually leave the track long enough to play the basketball shooting games to win stuffed animals for the kids. He loved nothing more than following his sons & then grandchildren, as they participated in various sports competitions. He was befriended by Indiana University Coach, Bobby Knight, in the 1980’s. This connection brought Jim, his sons & grandsons, much joy. Jim always made himself available to assist his children in their endeavors. He was known to enjoy an occasional cigarette, a BV Ditch or a Beer from time to time, but after he was fully retired, he preferred coffee, & became content to sit for hours & look through old SHS yearbooks, watch the Indiana Hoosiers, NY Yankees or MSU Bobcats play on TV, and visit with friends who would drop by the house. Since 2013 Jim has lived in Great Falls, at Linden House, Bee Hive Alzheimer Care facility, where for a few years, he was able to sketch and paint again…something he had shown a talent for in his teenaged years.
Jim is survived by his children: twins James J. (Pennie) Galt, Chandler, AZ & Jackie (Stephen) Urick, Stanford, MT; LeAnn Feisthamel, Great Falls, MT; Robert (Barbara) Galt, Malta, MT. Grandchildren: Derek (Bria) Galt, Amarillo, TX; Jacy (Andy) Grisinger, Bloomington, IL; Janna Kay (Wade) VandenBos, Stanford, MT; Ollie (Kelsey) Urick, Stanford, MT; Nic (Maria) Feisthamel, Havelock, NC; Lyn Feisthamel, Great Falls, MT; John (Ashley) Galt, Billings, MT; Jay (Andrea) Galt, Billings, MT; Jase Galt, Malta, MT. Great Grandchildren: Taryn Galt, Abrey Galt, Makenna Grisinger, Tanner Grisinger, KayDe VandenBos, Carllee VandenBos & Avery Feisthamel. His sister-in-law, Mina Mae Harris Ecker, along with numerous nieces & nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, DeRayn. Parents, Tot & Ollie Galt. His sister, Frances Galt Roberts & her husband, Warren. His sons-in-law, Jack LeMond & Richard Feisthamel. Brothers-in-law, Jack (Florence) Harris & Alvin Ecker. A nephew, Rodney Ecker.
In lieu of flowers, Memorials are suggested to: Stanford Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 173, Stanford, MT 59479.
Date of Death: October 14th, 2019.
Place of Death: Linden House, Beehive Homes Alzheimer Care Facility, Great Falls, MT.
Burial: Stanford Cemetery, Stanford, MT
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