James Edward 'Jim' Liebelt

 

James Edward "Jim" Liebelt, 78, passed away unexpectedly at St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings, Mont., on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, surrounded by family and friends.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12, at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Glasgow, at 1 p.m., followed by a reception at the Parish Center with burial at the Fort Peck Cemetery.

He was born in Kalispell, Mont., on Dec. 8, 1938, to Bernhardt and Amanda Liebelt. He graduated from Great Falls High School in 1956 and attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., while earning a bachelor of science degree in chemistry.

While working at the Anaconda Smelter in Great Falls, he met Jeanne Van Tighem and they were later married on April 24, 1965. They moved to Bozeman, where he attended MSU, earning a master of science degree in zoology and a PHD in zoology in 1970. During that time, they were blessed with three children; Michael Paul, Gregory James and Kirstin Marie.

In December 1970, the family moved to Fort Peck, where he accepted a job, with then, Montana Fish-and-Game, to manage commercial fishing on Fort Peck Lake. He later became the Information and Education Officer for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Glasgow. In his last six years with the Department, he returned to Fort Peck to serve as the project leader for the Lower Missouri & Yellowstone River pallid sturgeon study, retiring in 2000.


He loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting and camping. Especially, fly fishing in the mountain streams and rivers of Montana, fishing on Fort Peck Lake, bird hunting for grouse, pheasant and waterfowl and big game hunting for deer, antelope, elk and his big horn sheep. He loved sports and was an ardent supporter of his children's and grandchildren's sporting activities. He enjoyed playing racquetball, bowling and working crossword puzzles and watching Turner Classic, western movies and listening to classical music.

He was a member of Ducks Unlimited, serving as area chairman for several years; Trouts Unlimited, founder of the Fort Peck Chapter of Northerns Unlimited, Montana Wildlife Federation, Public Land/Water Access Association, past member of the Glasgow Elks Lodge and served on the Fort Peck Elementary School Board.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Paul; one daughter, Kirstin; and one son, Michael.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Jeanne; one son, Gregory and his wife, Shannon; two grandchildren, Karissa and Kendal of Fort Peck; one sister-in-law, Norita Stewart of Tacoma, Wash .; one nephew, Stephen Liebelt and his wife, Helen, of Palo Alto, Calif .; one niece, Cindy Naka and her husband, Yuki, of Mandeville, La .; and one daughter-in-law, Julie Liebelt, of Houston, Texas.


In-lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Camp Francis Children's Bereavement Program or Darcy's Hope Bereavement Retreat (13-18 year olds), c/o Benefis Health Care System, Box 7008, Great Falls, MT. 59406-7008, or the Valley Community Food Bank, Box 63, Glasgow, MT 59230.

 

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