Rodeo 2617959

James Dennis Jacobsen

September 21, 1948 ~ July 18, 2020 (age 71)


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On Saturday, July 18, 2020 we lost one of the good ones when Jim Jacobsen left this world to join his beloved wife, Tamara.  A PRIVATE family Memorial Service will be held Friday, July 24th at 11:00 AM in the Rose Room Chapel at Croxford Funeral Home, which will allow his mother, Clarice, to attend.  The Service will be Livestreamed for everyone else to attend virtually.  Family and friends are all welcomed and encouraged to attend Jim’s Burial which will follow at Sun River Cemetery, being mindful of the social distancing requirements during this pandemic.             

            James Dennis Jacobsen was born September 21, 1948 in Great Falls, Montana to Ray and Clarice (Murdoch) Jacobsen.  He was raised at the family home outside of Sun River along with his younger brother, Bob. The Jacobsen’s were a rodeo family. The little arena out behind the barn welcomed cowboys of all ages and skill levels to come practice and learn.  These times instilled a love for the sport that never died.

            At age 11, Jim and cousin Wade were entered in the Boy’s Steer Riding at the Calgary Stampede.  It was quite a thrill to perform before 40,000 people and win some money for 8 seconds of work.    Jim continued his rodeo career in high school and at 16 he won the bull riding at the PRCA State Fair Rodeo in Great Falls.  Jim was hooked. He continued rodeoing for Northwest Community College in Powell, Wy. and then on to Montana State University.   Friendships were formed that lasted a lifetime.  His strongest events throughout his life were saddle bronc and bull riding.  Jim also knew how to throw a good rope and did a little team roping and dogging for fun. 

            Jim won two All Around Championships in the Montana PRCA Circuit Finals as well as 3 saddle bronc titles and a bull riding championship.   Jim returned to Calgary many times.  Sunday, July 18, 1976.  Jim Jacobson of Sun River, Mont., created a stir in the bleachers by winning the bull-riding final go-round with a Stampede record score of 93 on Franklin’s Wilfred.  Jim finished 2nd overall in the Calgary Stampede Bull Riding to Bryan Claypool, who had marked a 92. Jim’s arena record stood until 2003 when it was tied.  It was finally broken in 2006 - an amazing 30 years after he set the record. 

            After many injuries and broken bones, including a broken neck from a surfing accident in Hawaii, Jim returned to MSU as the rodeo coach.  In time, Jim became one of the first seven Wrangler Pro Rodeo judges which took him to the NFR many times.  This new career gave him a stable income and an opportunity to meet the top stock contractors and cowboys in the business.   Jim’s travels took him to every state in the union except Alaska and North Carolina.  He took the opportunity to visit the historical venues and to study his country firsthand.  He met the brightest and the best in the rodeo business and watched many young men rise to the top.  Life was good.

            Not one to ignore the small things, Jim found the striped judge’s shirts hot and uncomfortable.  He complained to his mom, Clarice, his quiet supporter and expert seamstress.  She promptly took apart the shirt and made it into a vest.  Today, PRCA judges are still wearing the Clarice Jacobsen design.   Jim inherited Clarice’s knack for art and also made bronzes in his spare time.  He was coached by Jay Contway with his artwork. Jim was a member of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Artist Association.

            Jim met the love of his life, Tamara Hauser, and they married in 1995.  They made their home in Hermiston, Oregon.  On Memorial Day in 1996, while Jim was working a gentle colt in their arena, the colt fell and Jim suffered a brain injury that ended his rodeo career.  Tamara was his greatest champion and nursed him as he struggled to regain his ability to live a normal life.  However, tragedy struck again in 2000 when Tamara lost her long battle with breast cancer. 

            Jim returned to the family home in Sun River.  In 2001, the family lost Ray and in 2020 Bob passed away.  Parkinson’s Disease took its toll on Jim.  He had been moved to the Beehive Care Facility in Great Falls and that is where he passed away quietly.  Jim is survived by his gracious mother, Clarice; sister-in-law, Jeanne and nieces, Jennifer, Addison, Christine, and Katie as well as an extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins.  

          Jim was honored to have his name inscribed in the Montana Hall and Wall of Fame in Billings as one of Montana’s finest cowboys.  Jim also admired the Pro Rodeo medical team that are present at all rodeos.  Therefore, donations in memory of Jim Jacobsen may be made to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.   (719) 528-472

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Dennis Jacobsen, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
July 24, 2020

11:00 AM
The Rose Room Chapel ~ Croxford Funeral Home
1307 Central Ave
Great Falls, MT 59401

July 24, 2020

1:00 PM
Sun River Cemetery
Sun River Cascade Road
Great Falls, MT 59404

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