Donald Ray James

December 31, 1928 ~ February 9, 2022 (age 93)


Donald “Don” James passed away on February 9, 2022, peacefully in the comfort of his home. Don was 93 years old and is survived by his wife, Donna James and his seven children: David, Diane, Dara, Debra, Dawn, Daniel, and Darrin. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren with one on the way, and nine great-great-grandchildren with two on the way. He was surrounded by family at the time of his death. On December 31, 1928, Don was born in Kalispell Montana, where he spent his childhood and later raised his family. He was the oldest of five children and learned at an early age the importance of putting family first with his devout expression of love, loyalty, respect, self-sacrifice, and servanthood.

Don graduated from high school in 1947 at which time joined the workforce with Kalispell Lumber, he also worked for a local laundry and dry-cleaning company. His next career pursuit was in sheet metal where he worked for an HVAC company and installed heating and cooling ventilation systems in various schools throughout Montana. He eventually received a license to sell real-estate, which he did for many years. During his 25 years as a realtor, he had a second job driving a school bus for the Kalispell School District. He took immense pride in driving a bus and offering a reliable form of transportation for the youth of Kalispell. Though his first life goal was to attend art school it did not come to fruition, fortunately his persistent nature strove him to develop and hone his own artistic talent over the years; his beautiful artwork is displayed throughout his home and those of his children and extended family. Don’s artwork focused on realistic perspectives of Montana wildlife and ranching. Additionally, Don was a very talented musician and singer. He was part of a barbershop quartet, a dance band, contributing vocally and instrumentally by playing the drums and bass. His love for music and his talent were passed to his children, all of whom have an appreciation for music.

Don married Donna Mae Brumbaugh on September 5, 1948; they were married for 73 years. As a devout family man, Don’s number one priority was providing for his family; he did this by working several jobs and fishing and hunting. Don and Donna instilled in their children the value of faith and family by hosting Holiday Dinners at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. He and Donna were regular attendees and involved members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Don had numerous callings within the LDS Church including First Councilor to Lakeside Presidency; Kalispell Sunday School President; Choral Director of Kalispell Priesthood; and First Councilor to Kalispell Bishopric.

Don has left a legacy of love, faith, family, hard work, resilience, and community involvement to his family, friends, and the City of Kalispell. He will be remembered as a loving, passionate, competitive, and loyal man who made sacrifices for the benefit of his family.
A viewing will be held on Friday February 18, 2022 from 9 am to 10 am followed by funeral services at 10 am, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1380 Whitefish Stage Road, Kalispell MT. A celebration of Don’s life will be held at the same location at 12:30 pm.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Ray James, please visit our floral store.



Conrad Memorial Cemetery
P.O.Box 822
Kalispell, MT 59901

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