James ‘Jim’ Milton Mikkelsen

God gained a great cowboy, James ‘Jim’ Milton Mikkelsen, 88, on Nov. 27, 2016.  

James Milton Mikkelsen was born and raised in Eden, Montana, June 28, 1928. Jim’s parents owned and operated the grocery store and post office in Eden. Eventually, they purchased ranch land and Jim and his older brother Roy began their careers of ranching and raising registered Hereford cattle. Jim attended the Eden school grades 1-8. He worked at the Ayrshire Dairy as a teenager, and at age 17 he tried to join the Army; at that time he was denied entry due to his young age.  

In 1951, Jim was inducted to the Armed Forces. His years there were very important to him as was service to his country. In the service, he developed a fellowship with the brothers he served with that continued through several reunions of the group throughout the United States. 

In 1956, Jim married his bride, Rachel Margaret Tow of Havre. Together they moved to Hobson to start their life work of ranching and farming. A short nine months (and 15 mins later, as Jim recalls) they had their first son, Rodney. The family then continued to grow with the addition of Darrell (“Spike”), Kerrie and Karla. In 1968 after starting his family on leased property, they purchased the Porter Ranch and continued ranching there until they moved into Hobson. Jim continued to be involved in as many ranching and farming activities as possible, and working on the ranch was forever on his mind.  

Jim was a highly respected cattleman, and was a leader and member in the American Hereford Association, Montana Hereford Association and Central Montana Hereford Association. His love of raising the best of the breed and showing them at various shows and sales across the state and eventually having a production sale of his own was among his proud accomplishments. He was a member of the “Fabulous Five,” an accomplished group of Hereford breeders in the state of Montana. 

Jim was a strong leader in the Hobson community, participating in the local American Legion Post #76, the Utica Rod and Gun Club, Fergus Eagles Club, Hobson School Board, and being a lifelong supporter of local 4H and FFA clubs. Jim never met a stranger and didn’t hesitate to share a story about Rachel’s devotion to him, his ranch, his family and the great friends he made along the way.  

He will be remembered as Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Slim, Kactus, Blue Chip and Proud Hereford Breeder.

Jim is survived by his wife, Rachel; sons, Rodney (Traci) and Darrell (Judy); daughters, Kerrie (Tom) Sonnenberg and Karla (Jay) Synkelma; grandchildren, Brandon Mikkelsen, Kaleigh (Cody) Maldonado, Kensey Mikkelsen, Dustin (Maria) Mikkelsen, Tara Mikkelsen, Courteney (T.J.) Ferrin, Sara McKinnon and Josh Burnham, Mark McKinnon, Ryan Sonnenberg, Rachel Synkelma, and Jordan Synkelma; great-grandson, Dylan Mikkelsen; nieces, Linda Konesky and Lori Rosselot; nephew, Randy Russek; and many more nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Louis; mother, Hilda; siblings, Marie, Roy, and Dorothy Russek; and grandson, Andrew Mikkelsen.

Services will be held Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the Hobson Methodist Church. Interment will follow at the Philbrook Cemetery with military honors presented by the Judith Basin American Legion Post #76. Memorial donations can be made to the Utica Women’s Club Scholarship, c/o Myrna Aamold, 127 Woodland Rd., Moccasin, MT 59462 or the Judith Basin American Legion Post 76, c/o Irene Welch, PO Box 276, Hobson, MT 59452.

Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Jim’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com.

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