James “Jim” Molmen

Sunday, November 3, 2019
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James “Jim” Molmen, age 92, of Glendive passed away on October 28, 2019, at the Eastern Montana Veterans Home in Glendive.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 4 at 10 a.m. at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Glendive with Pastor Greg Lucido officiating. The service will be followed by interment with military honors at Dawson Memorial Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to Silha Funeral Home in Glendive.

Jim was born November 5, 1926 in Pekin, N.D., the son of Harold and Anne (Enebo) Molmen. He was raised in Pekin and educated in Pekin and Tolna. During this period he remembered working with his father, using their horse team to help build the earthen dam near Tolna. He finished high school through the GED program while working at a defense plant in San Francisco, Calif., a place he recalled as “a little different from Pekin.” Returning to North Dakota he went into the hatchery business. He moved to Glendive as part of his employment with the Star-Hi Hatchery company and once in Glendive he met Viola Schock who attended Our Savior Lutheran Church with her family. During the Korean Conflict he joined the Army, training as a paratrooper and radio operator. He remembered helping pour the foundations of Our Savior’s new church building on the morning he left for the army. While he was home on leave he and Viola were married and she soon joined him in Georgia where he was stationed at the time.

When he was discharged they returned to Glendive and Jim again worked in the hatchery business. When changes in the poultry business threatened the future of independent hatchery companies just as Jim and Vi’s growing family argued for greater income stability he went to work on the Northern Pacific Railroad. With a variety of part-time jobs and businesses on the side he stayed with the railroad until he retired in 1989.

As if working for the railroad and simultaneously holding a couple of part-time jobs wasn’t enough, in the early ‘60s Jim and Vi bought a small farm just outside of Glendive. They felt it was a good place to raise children – probably because it kept the kids too busy and too tired to get into trouble. The farm also gave Jim the opportunity to follow his childhood love of horses, and he raised draft horses and trained them. Many people may remember his Clydesdale teams and the wagons he built for them; they made frequent appearances in area parades and gave hayrides at church and school activities.

Jim also loved building and woodworking. He built a boat when he was 10 and he built every house the family lived in while the children were growing. His children’s own houses are now full of beautiful chests, bookcases, cabinetry, grandfather clocks and rocking horses that he made for them. One of his major joys in retirement was when his woodworking friends would come to his shop and together they would spend hours looking for just the right piece of oak or cherry for this or that project. He loved helping his kids with their own houses and projects as well. He enjoyed playing cards, even if he wasn’t winning (though he really did prefer to win.)

Vi passed away in 1996, and Jim married Gertrude Carlson in 1998. She preceded him in death as well in 2016. He appreciated the kindness and love shown by her children and their families during his life with Gert and after her passing.

In recent years Jim resided at the Eastern Montana Veterans Home and he valued the friends he made there and the many friends and relatives who visited him.

Jim was preceded in death by his sisters, Ethel (Molmen) Halvorson and Hazel (Molmen) Nerison.

He is survived by his children, Randy & Marcy (Molvik) Molmen, Dave & Karen (Jensen) Molmen, Steve & Deb (Waters) Molmen and Rosanne (Molmen) & Rusty Lohof; 13 grandchildren, Beth Molmen, Chris & Dani (Kuntz) Molmen, Brittany (Molmen) & Dan Young, Brianna Molmen, Blake Molmen, Brock Molmen, Bailee Molmen, Luke & Kelcie (Wood) Lohof, and Abbie Lohof and her fiancé Brady Richardson; and one great-grandchild, Mayzie Lohof; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews and their families.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at: www.silhafuneralhomes.com.

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