MISSOULA – Jimmy “Jim” Dale Coates, 77, of Missoula, passed away Wednesday, May 5, 2010, in Missoula of natural causes.
He was born on Dec. 16, 1932, in Bicknell, Ind., to Clarence and Wilma Coates.
Early on, Jim lived the life of a true gypsy. His adventurous heart took him to nearly every state and landed him many interesting jobs. From driving cabs in L.A. to owning a convenience store, to building fence in rural Idaho and Montana. Jim loved to travel, he loved to meet new people and he loved the outdoors.
He also loved to be in love. Jim was married a total seven times but his free spirit never allowed him to be tied down too long. What can ya say? He loved the good life, which never seemed to be able to include the married life.
The only place that seemed to settle him down was the beautiful mountains of Montana. The last 30 years of his life were spent working hard as a fence contractor in the Missoula Valley.
Jim really loved “The Track.” He spent a lot of time in Missoula’s horse racing community. He owned horses and spent some time as a member of the board of horse racing.
In 1983, Jim became a father for the fourth time to his son Bobby Coates. This was to be the proudest achievement of his life. As an elderly man he took on the task of raising a child as a single parent and loved every minute of it. His son was the greatest love of his life.
The most important thing about Jim is that he loved. Always quick to give and never wanted anything, Jim made many friends over the years in Missoula and everyone of his friendships were very dear to him. He was a very soft-natured man and only had good intentions for every person he met.
Jim is preceded in death by his sister and brother.
Jim is survived by his mother Wilma Coates; his four children, Robert Coates of Missoula, Cathy Paino of California, Lou Ann Sturgill of California and Jim of Ohio; and his beloved siblings and many grandsons, granddaughters, nieces and nephews. He is also survived by all the lives he touched … and one future grandchild.
Please come help us celebrate the life and times of a true ramblin’ man.
A memorial will be held at Wednesday, May 12, at 3 p.m. at the paddock area of the race track at the Missoula County Fairgrounds. Located directly behind the main fair office. Open to anyone and everyone. Come have a shot and tell a story. A celebration of his life will directly follow the services at the Lucky Strike.
Donations for the cost of services are greatly appreciated.