Jim Chinn was born on Sept.15, 1950, in Richmond, Virginia, to Ada Mae Kahn Chinn and Charles Emory Chinn.
He passed away in Bigfork on Oct. 15, 2018, at the age of 68, from a heart attack.
Jim received a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, majoring in criminal justice. After working for a time in Virginia as a police officer, the lure of Montana led to a lengthy career with the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office. He developed exceptional administrative and investigative skills, but he will be remembered most for being a man of his word, a man of integrity.
His love of traditional archery in the Montana mountains and valleys peaked his interest in writing a book, and he did just that in 1991. He named it “Winds of Change,” a phrase that has been repeated frequently over the past decade in other fields of interest. Jim liked to think that he was the first one to coin that unique expression.
In 1983, the red-haired bowhunter married Linda Rudolph who, coincidently, was also from Virginia; yet they didn’t meet until they moved in next door to each other in Hamilton, Montana. Linda and her very young girls, Carrie and Christy, instantly fell in love with Jim’s black Lab but were somewhat reluctant when the man, himself, wanted to tag along. But his southern charm eventually won all of them over. He was a loving and devoted father to the girls and a warm and caring husband to Linda. In August, they celebrated 35 years of marriage.
In his retirement years, Jim’s interests leaned toward fishing, and he and Linda moved to Kalispell to be closer to Carrie and Christy and grandchildren, as well as the abundant fishing accesses. He and his best friend, Deke (who happened to be a border collie mix), would hitch up the boat in the wee hours of the morning and head out for one of the many lakes in the area. Jim loved catching dinner and Deke loved inspecting the catch.
Jim was predeceased by his father, Charles Emory Chinn.
Jim is survived by his wife, Linda Chinn, of Kalispell; two children, Carrie Catherine Chinn Mathiason (and husband, Trevor) of Columbia Falls, and Christine Anne Chinn Manning (and husband, Trey) of Kalispell; as well as grandchildren, Connor James Manning and Dalton Ross Manning. Jim is also survived by his mother, Ada Mae Chinn, of Sandston, Virginia; three sisters, Sandra (Wayne) Potter of Locust Grove, Virginia, Jenny (Mike) Boswell of Henrico, Virginia, and Grace Vosburg of Richmond, Virginia. He also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews, and a “brother-in-heart,” Robert Starr, of Wachaprague, Virginia. Even though Jim lived in Montana, his Virginia family was always close to his heart and soul, and he frequently returned to his historic roots.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, at the First Presbyterian Church, 540 South Main Street, Kalispell.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), 1203 Hwy. 2 West, Suite 37, Kalispell, MT 59901; or Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, 725 W. Alder, Suite 11, Missoula, MT 59802.