POLSON — James Bates Bassett, 79, of Polson, passed away on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, after a two-year battle with throat cancer.

Jim was born on Aug. 20, 1938, in Glendale, California, to Thomas Bassett and Karine Bates Bassett. His family moved often until they settled in Claremont, California, when Jim was 14. He attended Claremont High School where he was a four year letterman in track and football. He attended some of the best colleges in the country, but left college to work in his family’s furniture store.

Jim was a great businessman, creating and owning several successful businesses. When they lost their home in a wildfire in 2003, Jim and his wife Janice moved to Montana and started his last, best project. They spent several years building their restaurant, The East Shore Smoke House. He loved the restaurant and the many friends they made during the last 10 years.

Jim was a loving husband, father, brother, stepfather and grandfather. He is survived by his wife Janice, his daughter Melinda Bassett, stepdaughters, Cheryl Nespor and Chris Nespor, his granddaughter Lily Wolf and his sister Tina Peeples and her family.

A celebration of life memorial is planned for spring of 2018 at the East Shore Smoke House. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.

the life of: James Bates Bassett
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