Cover photo for James R. Midboe's Obituary
James R. Midboe Profile Photo
1935 James 2021

James R. Midboe

March 9, 1935 — December 20, 2021

James Richard Midboe passed away peacefully in the early morning on Dec 20th, 2021, at the Highgate care home in Great Falls, MT.

Predeceased by his wife Shirley Midboe, son Jamie Midboe, parents Nels and Selma Midboe, Sisters Ione Kincaid (Joe) and Dolores Matteson (Leonard)

He is survived by his sister Shirley (Steven Bebich), son Brian Midboe (Felicia), Stepchildren Trae Steiner, Tana Steiner and Cynthia Steiner Taylor, and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

James (also known to many as "Jim", and sometimes "Midboe") was born and raised in Toole County MT. After graduating Shelby High and attending MSU, he worked on the Sundby Ranch in North Toole County with his uncles and Grandfather. It was during this time that he learned to operate equipment while building reservoirs for area farmers under a government program. Learning so much from that experience he later started his own company, Midboe Construction, Inc. One of his first notable large government projects was building the overflow for Lake Shel-oole in Shelby. During that time, he met and married his wife, Shirley. With a love for horses and family, they purchased land on the east of Shelby where they built a home and raised their family. Over time they developed their property into a beautiful horse facility. As his construction business continued to grow, James became a prime contractor for Burlington Northern Railroad and the Great Northern Railroad. James had many stories of the adventures from train derailments (in some pretty remote locations) with snow removal to re-open the tracks and salvage of debris. One story told of a photo of him standing atop a telephone pole, next to a D8 cat with only 2' of the top of the telephone pole showing. He was definitely a hard worker with strong values of providing for his family. During those years James and his wife raised and raced thoroughbreds throughout multiple states. While his wife trained the horses, James' hard work ethics funded the activities, and he really enjoyed handling the horses in the paddock before they raced. They were quite successful at their horse breeding/racing endeavors and had proudly earned "Montana Two-Year-Old of the Year" award for one of their colts.

The economic downturn of the 80's had James scaling down his business, selling off a lot of his equipment and helping his son Brian build his own business in Alaska, and then later here in Shelby. James then went on to work for the County, first as the Weed Superintendent and then taking on the County Road Supervisor for the Toole County Road department. This was the same job his own father (Nels Midboe) had held, and James worked there until his retirement.

Following retirement, James still rose early, he enjoyed long walks around his property, tending his yard, and feeding the many wild cats that had taken up residence in his yard. He enjoyed driving the countryside, helping friends whenever he could, and worked on restoring various projects. Although he was raised in family of Lutheran faith, he personally gave his own heart to God during these later years. When living alone became too much, he moved to the Heritage in Shelby for a time and enjoyed his activities and friends there. He liked to ride along on the activity bus or sit in the lobby and greet all who entered. Once again when his personal needs outgrew the Heritage capabilities for care, he then moved to the Highgate Senior Living in Great Falls. It was here he spent his remaining years entertaining staff with his witty sense of humor and was always happy for a "Cookie" or a friendly visitor.

A small graveside service and Interment will be held at Mountain View Cemetery on Mon. January 3, 2021, at 2:00 pm with refreshments and a time to reminisce to follow at the Carousel Rest Area.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James R. Midboe, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Monday, January 3, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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