James Marvin Baumann, 92, passed away at his home in Spokane Valley, Washington on November 18, 2019. Born in Conrad, Montana on February 20, 1927, he was raised on a dry land wheat farm near Ledger. James, better known as “Jim,” was the fourth of seven children born to John and Norma Baumann, early homesteaders in the area. He learned at an early age a strong work ethic and how to get by during hard times. Jim attended the Golden Valley School near Ledger and had many stories about being raised on the prairie and what it was like to farm and raise cattle during the Dust Bowl days and the Depression of the 1930’s. In his junior year of high school, he received his draft notice and was inducted into the Army in April 1945. He completed Basic Training in Fort Worth, Texas, and was deployed to Japan when World War II ended working to disarm the Japanese. Jim was assigned to the 71st Signal Corps in Japan and spent the first part of his tour searching homes and caves in various Japanese cities for weapons to be put on barges and sunk into the ocean. Later, Jim was assigned to work as a mechanic in the motor pool in Tokyo where he learned skills that would serve him well when he returned to the states. Jim earned the Victory Medal, an Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal (Japan) during his service. He was discharged from the military in December 1946 and returned to Conrad to work. Jim married Elsie (Joann) Yeager on February 26, 1949 in Conrad, Montana and together they raised five children. Jim worked as a mechanic for the Twin Service and later for the Case Implement dealership. In the early 1960’s, Jim purchased a Texaco service station on Main Street and later purchased the Conrad Case dealership. He earned numerous company awards and trips for exceptional sales and service. Jim and Joann loved spending their spare time at their cabin in Lincoln, Montana, traveling to Europe, the Bahamas, Hawaii, and Florida. On January 23, 1989, he lost his first wife, Joann, to heart failure. He retired from his dealership in 1990 and moved to Missoula, MT. In his retirement, Jim enjoyed golfing, bowling, and traveling the United States. In 2014, he and his second wife, Eva Jean Thody Wikstrom Baumann, moved to Spokane Valley, Washington. One of the highlights of his retirement was going on the Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to see the World War II Memorial and being accompanied by his oldest grandson, Chad Baumann.
Jim was preceded in death by his first wife, Joann; his son, James “Jim” Allen Baumann, on October 12, 2010; parents, John and Norma Baumann; sisters, Mavis (Chuck) Yeager, Bettie Torske (John) Robertson; brothers, Burke, John “Jack” and Bruce Baumann; and second wife, Eva Jean Wikstrom Baumann, passed on November 5, 2016. He is survived by his children, Rebecca (Michael) Satterly of Kalispell, Jacalyn (Thomas) Rygg of Helena, Laura (Donald) Hamma of Spokane, WA, and Leigh Bohn McNellis of Spokane, WA; daughter-in-law, Kimberly Williams Baumann of Hobson; and brother, Arthur Baumann, of Salt Lake City, UT.
Jim was the proud grandfather of nine grandchildren: Douglas Satterly, Steven Satterly, Chad Baumann, Travis Baumann, Savanna Baumann Sill, Jennifer Rygg Painter, Joann Rygg Branting, Lance Hamma, and Christopher Bohn. Jim delighted in having his 16 great grandchildren visit and brighten his day. The family would like to thank the staff at Orchard Crest Assisted Living for their kind care to Jim in his final days.
Graveside service will be held at the Hillside Cemetery in Conrad on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at 2:00 p.m.