On Sunday, September 19, 2010, we lost our beloved husband, father, grandpa, brother and friend, James “Jim” Knopp, 72, of Billings, after a long, hard-fought fight with cancer. Jim was born on July 17, 1938 in Terry, Montana the son of William and Lillian (Sowers) Knopp. In 1956 he graduated from Terry High School and from 1956 to 1958 attended Dawson Junior College. Jim served in the United States Army from 1959 to 1961 as a military policeman. On December 5, 1969 he was united in marriage to Shirley Williams in Sheridan, Wyoming. He worked for Midland Packing Company for a time and later at the Billings Gazette until his retirement in 1999.
Jim was a member of the American Legion. He coached Little League and Little Guy football. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, all sports, animals and had a special dedication to his family. Jim was a terrific gardener and was admired by everyone for his wonderful vegetables and beautiful flowers.
Jim was a man of deep religious convictions who practiced his beliefs every day of his life. Honesty was one of his greatest virtues and he always made a point of doing the right thing so that no one he encountered would ever be hurt. He had a special place in his heart for children and animals and was loved and respected by them in return. He was a loving, thoughtful husband, a wonderful father to his two children, an extraordinary grandpa to his two grandchildren and was always thinking of ways to enrich their lives and make them happier. He was looking forward to the arrival of a new grandson in January. Jim was a virtual walking encyclopedia of sports trivia and his most enjoyable moments were sitting around talking sports topics. He was adamant about his political views and voiced them freely; and even though we sometimes had to laughingly leave the room, we loved and admired him for his beliefs that all men should be treated equally. Jim and Shirley loved to travel and they enjoyed road trips all over the United States. Even though he was not feeling up to par recently, he insisted on one last trip to his favorite areas to visit, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
We, his family, will miss him greatly and will forever feel an irreplaceable void in our hearts and lives. Vaya con Dios our love. Be at peace.
Jim leaves behind his wife Shirley; daughter Anne-Marie (Robert) Simeon, granddaughter Maya of Billings; son James J. Knopp, Jr. and partner Jennifer Holycross, grandson Brady James of Laurel; sister Anna (John) Brumley of Havre; nephew Flint (Cheri) Lachenmeier of Layton, Utah; friends and brothers-in-law: Allen and Andrea Williams of Billings, Phil Williams of Las Vegas, Nevada. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Richard Knopp.
The family would especially like to thank Dr. Purcell, Dr. Burke and the wonderful, kind, caring staff and nurses of the Billings Clinic Oncology Center and Hospital.
Vigil services will be 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 23 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. A memorial service for Jim will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 24 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 523 South 29th St.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 521 Custer Ave., Billings, Mt 59101 or The American Cancer Society, 550 No. 31st, Billings, 59101. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com
Published Sept. 29, 2010