James Ray “G.G.” Clinkingbeard, 84, died in his home in Fort Peck due to natural causes on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
There will be a private memorial service with the family at a date to be determined.
Jim, as many knew him, or G.G. (great-grandpa) as his great-grandchildren knew him, was born in Missoula to L. Ray Clinkingbeard and Audrey Geneva Taylor on Aug. 30, 1929. He was the oldest of three, had two sisters, Frankie Rae Clinkingbeard (Selvig) and Jo Ann Clinkingbeard (Selvig).
He grew up in Missoula and attended the University of Montana where he played football for the “Griz.” Summers during university he worked for the U.S. Forest Service and spent many hours in a fire lookout tower or jumping out of planes as a smoke jumper. He liked to describe these experiences as some of the best times of his life.
The first two years after graduation were devoted to active service with the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Army in Fort Lewis, Wash. He stayed in the Army Reserve until his retirement as a full colonel. After his active military service, he moved to Colorado and worked as a physical therapy instructor at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver. His latter career took him to Washington, D.C., where he was vice president of the American Physical Therapy Association and later to San Diego where he worked as a physical therapist.
After retiring, he and his wife, Kay (Anderson) Clinkingbeard, lived and traveled the country in a fifth-wheel trailer for many years. They finally settled in Pueblo, Colo., and after her death, he built a house in Fort Peck, where he lived out the rest of his life.
He was an avid sportsman and loved to travel all his life. He loved to hunt large game. Antelope was his favorite. He hunted birds of all kinds, and loved lake and stream fishing, especially fly-fishing. He traveled all across the United States and around the world discovering relatives and visiting with family, which he said were the favorite purposes of his travels.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Jo Ann Clinkingbeard (Selvig).
Survivors include three children with his first wife, Ruth Mary Heinrich (Clark): A daughter, Jamie Rae Clinkingbeard (Hanson) of Fort Peck, Brion James Clinkingbeard of Louisville, Ky., and Sharon Ann Clinkingbeard (Magnus) of Lakewood, Colo.; and a sister, Frankie Rae Clinkingbeard (Selvig) of Billings; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Out of Jim’s love for his community of Fort Peck, memorial donations on his behalf can be sent to the Fort Peck Summer Theatre at PO Box 973, Glasgow, MT 59230 or the Northeast Montana Veteran’s Memorial, PO Box 202, Glasgow, MT 59230.