James “Jim” Leland Moffitt, 91, of Spearfish, left this earth on July 10, 2021. A visitation will be held at Stevenson Funeral Home, 1717 Main St., Miles City, Mont., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, from 3-6 p.m., with a rosary at 6 p.m. Funeral Services will be Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 120 N. Montana Ave., Miles City, Mont. An ice cream social will follow in the Riley Center. Rite of Committal will be in Old North Cemetery, Truro, Mass.
Jim was born March 31, 1930, to his loving parents Leland Edward Moffitt and Elizabeth Celestine (McCaffrey) Moffitt in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. His sister Patricia was joyfully welcomed into the family in 1937.
Jim’s childhood was spent surrounded by doting aunts, uncles, and his beloved grandmother, Minnie McCaffrey. Many of his favorite adventures took place at their summer homes at Peach Lake, N.Y. His summer lifeguard job and daily canoeing and sailing were fond, lifelong memories.
He graduated from high school in Lynchburg, Va. After college he joined the US. Army, during the Korean War. In his time as a military policeman, he met WAC Phyllis Bernadine Coomes.
Jim and Bernie were married at Chapel in the Pines in Ft Lawton, Wash., on Oct. 1, 1955.
There followed eight surviving children and one darling in heaven; Jim (Molly) Moffitt, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Sheila (Jack) French, Spearfish; John (Annette) Moffitt, Woodland Park, Colo.; Irene (Rick) Helm, Shoshoni, Wyo.; Kathleen (Ray) Long, Spearfish; Jennifer (Arny) Beardsley, Miles City, Mont.; Amanda Moffitt, Belle Fourche; and Jared (Shauna) Moffitt, Spring Creek, Nev.
After six years in Dearborn, Mich.; Howell, Mich., became the family home for many years. Jim was actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America, Jaycees, Knights of Columbus, St Joseph Church lector, and his many hobbies of gardening, woodworking, hunting, family camping trips across the country, bread making, beer and wine making. He was a lover of knowledge and read books all his life. He loved his family, adventure, telling stories, being active, making root beer, ice cream, and hot fudge sauce. Jim leaves behind many friends across the country.
The 1970s brought a whole new adventure as Jim and Bernie moved the family from Howell to a ranch on the Tongue River, Miles City, Mont. He loved God’s country and learning everything he could about hay, cattle, and ranching. He maintained many Michigan friendships and made even more Montana friends.
As a new millennium came, Jim moved to Cape Cod, Mass., to care for his aging mother. He spent 10 years caring for her until her passing in 2011, at 102 years of age. Again, he left the dear friends he had made and trekked back to Miles City, Mont., where he enjoyed his time and family until November 2020, at which time he moved to Spearfish. He loved the views of the Black Hills and spent time with daughters until his last day.
Jim is survived by his sister Patty, her children Elizabeth and Allan; his eight children; 17 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
Jim’s children are especially thankful for the kind and caring staff at Spearfish Canyon Healthcare Center where he spent his last six months, the EMS workers, Spearfish Monument Healthcare workers, and Fr. Zane from St Joseph Church.
Jim will be missed and his stories retold for many years and generations to come. He was, “looking forward to his new life with great excitement,” on July 6 and now he is living it.
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