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Jim was born Aug. 8, 1932, to Carol Landon and Merle (Pewanka) Landon in Saco, Mont. As a young boy, his family moved to Kalispell, Mont. He graduated from Flathead High School in 1951. He was active in sports throughout high school, playing and being co-captain of the football and basketball teams. In 1950, the Flathead Braves team won their first Class AA football championship. In 1951, he was part of the winning championship team that earned the nickname “the comeback kids.”
After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the Navy, “bobbing around the ocean for four years,” as he would say. After he was discharged from the Navy, he enrolled at Montana State University, where he played football. The Bobcats were national champions in 1956. They went to the Aluminum Bowl in Arkansas. He was inducted into the Montana State University hall of Fame in 1987, and into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2006.
After leaving college, he moved to California, where he met Nancy. They were married Sept. 2, 1960. In 1968, they moved to Burns. He worked in construction and the logging industry for several years. In 1992, he and Nancy moved to Dundee, where he owned and operated Lumpy’s Tavern. In 2000, they moved back to Burns to be close to their children and grandchildren. He loved going to the kids’ and grandkids’ games and activities, puttering around the house and doing projects for family and friends. He liked going to brandings and haying in the summer. He also liked working in his “hardware store” (shop). The kids would check his “store” before going up town. They would usually find what they were looking for.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Nancy; sons, Jimmy Landon, and his wife, Sue, of Billings, Mont., Kelly and his wife, Samantha, of Burns, and Keith Landon of Burns; daughters, Joni Ackerman of Billings, and Lisa Tiller and her husband, Scott, of Hines; brother, Frank Landon and his wife Phyllis of Newberg; Don Landon, and his wife, Gloria, of Kalispell; sister, Grace Watters, of Kalispell; 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Merle, and father, Carol Landon; brothers, Roy Landon and Marvin Landon; sisters, Alice Pollard, Sylvia Gledin and Nadine Christie.
A celebration of life was held July 14, with a military salute.
Contributions in Jim’s name may be sent to Desert Dream Mentor Program for Developmental Disabilities in Harney County, 362 N. Broadway, Burns OR 97720.