James "Jim" Tibbits, 79, Sidney, MT
April 12, 2023
Funeral services will be held on Saturday April 15, 2023 at the Pella Lutheran Church in Sidney, MT at 10:00 A.M. with Pastor Barb Haugerud officiating. Military Honors will be presented by the VFW Post #4099 of Sidney, MT and the Army National Guard. Visitation will be Friday April 14, 2023 at the Fulkerson Stevenson Memorial Chapel from 10:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. in Sidney, MT. Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home of Sidney, MT is assisting the family. Remembrances, condolences, and pictures may be shared with the family at http://www.fulkersons.com.
James "Jim" Tibbits was born on Wednesday, December 8, 1943 to parents Park and Bessie (Johnson) Tibbits in Williston, North Dakota. He grew up on a farm eighteen miles southwest of Williston in McKenzie County. In the fall of 1949, he started school at Indian Hill School, seven miles east of the farm. In 1956, Corps of Engineers bought the farm to build Garrison Dam, and the Tibbits moved to Sidney, Montana, where his dad purchased a machine shop. He attended Sidney middle school at that time, which was 7th through 12th grades. His first job was delivering the Billings Gazette every morning before school and on weekends. Jim also worked at the bowling alley as a pin setter and Safeway.
On August 7, 1961, Jim went into the army at Fort Ord in Monterey, California. He joined A Company 8th Battalion Group 3rd Brigade for Basic Training. He graduated September 30, 1961, and went on to Fort Bliss, Texas for training for Hercules Missiles at A Battery for 8 weeks, then went to C Battery 5th Guided Missile Battalion at Ft. Bliss. In July, he shipped out to Okinawa to the 30th Artillery Brigade, then to Ishikawa Beach, Okinawa, Battery C 61st Artillery Second Missile Battalion in January of 1962. He returned stateside in July of 1963, and discharged honorably in 1967.
Once back in Williston, he started work on the farm, which his uncle rented back from the government. He then worked for Richard Heir, Lloyd Butka, Alvin Vader, and his dad's machine shop, then Halliburton as a truck driver. He married his wife, Linda Selle, on June 13, 1965.
In February of 1966, Jim and Linda moved to Seattle, Washington where he worked for Boeing Plant 2. They welcomed daughter Ronda in 1966, while Jim worked at the new plant in Auburn, WA, then daughter Trina in July 1967. They lived in Washington until 1970, when they moved back to Sidney, Montana and Jim resumed working with his dad at the machine shop. That same year, Linda and Jim welcomed their son Jeff. Eventually, Jim's dad sold the shop to him, and Jim ran it until he sold it and retired in 2012.
After retirement, Jim enjoyed life to the fullest with his many hobbies and activities. He adored playing guitar and making music, hiking in Medora and North Unit with friends and family, playing cards and board games, shooting, camping, and relaxing around a backyard campfire with his loved ones. He was a great golf caddy for his son-in-law, Jeff, and often played cornhole tournaments with his family. When needed, he helped at Tim & Marilyn's farm, fencing, hauling hay, welding, and assisting with harvest.
Jim unexpectedly passed away on Friday April 7, 2023, at the Sidney Health Center. He will be dearly missed by all who loved him.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Tibbits; three children, Ronda (Jeff) Votava, Trina Miller, and Jeff (Heather) Tibbits; grandchildren, Chelsie, Zach, Kyler, Natalie, Lindsay, Brianna (Brian Meyer), Hailee (LT Richmond), Kaitlyn (Kade Swisse), Andrew, Hunter, and Derrek (Kristy); great-grandchildren, Owen and Noah; sister, Linda (Jerry) Anthony; brothers-in-law, Tim (Marilyn) Selle and Steve (Dora) Selle; and sister-in-law, Emily (Frank) Miller.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Park and Bessie; stepmother Elsie; grandson, Skyler, and nephew, Mike.