James "Jim" Beacher McKnight, 84, died Friday, March 9, 2007, at his home surrounded by his wife of 58 years and his four children.
He was born May 28, 1922, in Hilger, just outside of Lewistown, the son of Fred and Ada Porter McKnight.
Jim graduated from Lewistown High School in 1940. He worked for Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, Calif., before entering into the Navy in 1942.
After leaving the service in 1946, Jim attended Montana State University in Bozeman. He then started Glacier War Surplus in Kalispell and traveled to many cities and states.
On one of Jim's trips he was introduced to Doreen Andrews, and they were married Sept. 5, 1948, in Spokane, Wash.
Jim started his insurance career with Farmers Insurance and became a district manager before starting his own agency, Tri-Co Insurance, in mid-1960 with three other agents. Tri-Co quickly became a major force in the commercial insurance arena and wrote over 80 percent of the logging policies for Flathead, Lincoln, and Lake counties.
Jim retired in 1987 and appreciated his retirement years golfing, fishing and traveling to places like Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. For the last 15 years, Jim and Doreen have enjoyed summers in Kalispell and the winters in Palm Springs, Calif., where they had a home on a golf course.
He was a longtime Mason, Shriner and Elks club member.
He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Otis, Evie, Clyde, Ernest and Les; and two sisters, Bessie and Edith.
He is survived by his wife, Doreen; two sons, Jack McKnight and wife Alice of La Palma, Calif., and Thomas K. McKnight of Victorville, Calif.; two daughters, Merle Vinson of Missoula and Patsy Heuscher and husband Randy of Billings; six grandchildren, Darrell, Ginger, Michele, Lyle, Shannon and Casey; four great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Norma Shaver and husband Jim of Garden Grove, Calif., and Floma Brown of the San Francisco, Calif., area.
Memorial services were held Tuesday, March 13, at Epworth United Methodist Church in Kalispell with Pastor Huston Green officiating. Private inurnment will be at a later date.
Memorials may be sent to the Shriners Hospitals for Crippled children, P.O. Box 2472, Spokane, WA 99210 or to the American Cancer Society, 3550 Mullen Road, Suite 105, Missoula, MT 59808.
Arrangements are by Johnson Mortuary & Crematory.