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James Malcolm Ross

10/09/1938 - 05/20/2021
Interment: Sunset Hills Cemetery, Montana

James M. Ross (Jim) passed away peacefully surrounded by family on May 20, 2021, in Tempe, Arizona at the age of 82.

Jim was born on October 9, 1938, in Billings, Montana, son of William and Norma Ross. He grew up near Chinook, Montana on a ranch in the foothills of the Bear’s Paw Mountains. He attended Ada Country School for his elementary years and graduated from Chinook High School in 1956. Jim spent his younger years working hard on the ranch, raising and caring for cattle and sheep and was an active participant in the 4-H program. Jim graduated from Montana State University in 1960 and served his country in the Army where he was stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia.

He returned to Montana and met and married Shirley Hatcher of Fairfield, MT in 1963. Jim began his banking career in 1965 for the Great Falls National Bank which later became Northwestern Bank. In 1973 he became Vice President working in the agribusiness department dealing in farm and ranch loans, later transitioning into commercial loans. Continuing along the financial career pathway, Jim worked for IFG Leasing in Great Falls for several years until moving his family to Mesa, Arizona to work for then Valley Bank Leasing.

After a long and fruitful career in the finance and banking industry, Jim retired and he and Shirley enjoyed many years of travel abroad including trips to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Spain, France, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Panama, Costa Rica and many destinations stateside as well.

His love for the beauty and simple life of Montana never waned and he and Shirley spent their summers in Bozeman, enjoying the cool temperatures and breathtaking scenery. They would travel back to Arizona for the winter months, but always looked forward to returning North once the snow melted!

Over the past several years, Jim battled Parkinson’s disease which inhibited his ability to travel and move as freely as he would have liked. As his body began to slow down, his grace, charm, class and dry and witty sense of humor remained sharp.

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jim held several church callings throughout his life mentoring, serving and caring for neighbors and friends in the congregations.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 57 years Shirley, his three beautiful daughters: Lisa Ross (Larry Wolfert), Oakland, CA, Lesli Satchell, Billings, MT and Linda Hardwick (Daniel), Gilbert AZ. He is also survived by his younger sister, Karen Benson Huck of Seattle, WA. Jim loved his six grandchildren: Lauren, Avery, Jacob, Braedy, Libby and Beau.  All of them will forever remember their grandfather’s example of hard work, perseverance and dedication to his Savior, Jesus Christ and to his family.

There will be a viewing at Croxford Funeral Home, 1307 Central Ave, Great Falls, Montana the evening of Thursday, June 3 from 6 – 8 p.m. Graveside services will be held on Friday, June 4 at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Fairfield, Montana at 11 a.m.



  • Helen Joyce Melzer

    Oh Shirley! We are sad for this separation. May the Lord continue to bless you and put his loving arms around you. At my last visit with Jim before Covid restrictions, not only was his charm, humor and wit still evident, but his memory was sharp too. He asked about my boys by name who had moved to Utah 15 years ago and about my two younger kids in Mesa! He was always so caring and kind and that is how we will remember him. What a wonderful life he made for you both.

  • Love to you all! Hoping your send off to your sweet dad will be overflowing with love from above!

  • Neena Kimball

    Wonderful man with a wonderful family. He will be missed. Till we meet again.

  • Ross was my first Temple Recommend Interview recipient when I was a young counselor to Bishop Cowley many years back. He warmly welcomed me into their home and made me feel at ease. What a wonderful man. Shirley, may peace fill your heart during this difficult time!

  • Dear Shirley and girls, and family,
    We love you all, and will miss Jim’s welcoming smile and friendship, his kindness and great sense of humor. We are blessed to have been around your family all these years, may you be blessed with comfort and peace as his journey continues.
    Love, Jodi and Howard

  • We are so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed knowing you and Jim, and I’m grateful we had the opportunity to meet a few times when my son and I brought the sacrament in to you. We will be praying for you.

  • Shirley
    I wanted you to know how much Angela and I love you. We have been praying for you and your family during this difficult time. We pray that all will go well for Jim’s funeral services. Jim was always so kind and gracious to me, he will be sorely missed.

  • Dear Shirley, Linda and Sisters,
    As you celebrate the long life of your good husband and father, I’d like for you to know how valuable he was to me as we serve together in the Bishopric of the Mesa 30th Ward. As I recall, he served for the full length of time as did I and I could not have asked for a more faithful, responsive and valuable colleague than Jim. His service as Ward Clerk used his banking skills as well as common sense in keeping us in balance and never did we have any question as to where we were financially. Jim was outstanding in his service. I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for the service he rendered and support he gave to me.
    As you adjust to his loss over the next few weeks in the years, I wish the very blessings of heaven to be yours as you continue on. It is extremely comforting to know we will see our loved ones again. With love and admiration, Roc Arnett

  • David & Gail Evans

    We love Jim and Shirley – what great friends and neighbors. Jim served as a counselor in our bishopric and was so loved by our ward family. Shirley has been so strong – we admire you and love you!

  • Lamoine & Susan Gunnell

    We feel so sad at Jims passing. He was a wonderful man, friend, ward member. He had a great sense of humor, and good at what he chose to do in life. He will be missed by all, but welcomed into life hereafter to serve with energy, compassion, and love. May God be with you during this time.

  • Blair & Sheron Bradshaw

    Shirley & family:
    What a wonderful man your Jim was. We cherished him as our home teacher when we first moved into the ward. He was an example while in the Bishopric of supporting our youth because he attended all the activities. He and you have always been an example to us of loyalty and service. We will look forward to our future reunions. Love you! (We might sneak a cheeseball in somewhere.)

  • Glenn Shields

    We share the sad feelings in these moments of the temporary departing of a loved one. There is the loneliness
    that comes, and yet, just to know that Jim is now at his Prime (there is no age in eternity) brings such peace.
    We love both of you. Thank you for letting me come into your home – such a great spirit was felt there.

  • Although I all ready appreciated Jim from our associations in the ward, it was my privilege to be his home teaching companion for some time. It was while serving with him that I grew to appreciate his wit and sense of humor, his gentleness and kindness. I will always consider him to be a very dear friend. I will miss his friendly smile. Shirley I hope that the Spirit of the Lord will be with you and bring you peace and comfort during this trying time.

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