Cover photo for James Louis Farlan's Obituary
James Louis Farlan Profile Photo
1942 James 2023

James Louis Farlan

July 28, 1942 — January 20, 2023

James “Jim” Louis Farlan, 80, formerly of Thompson Falls, MT, died peacefully on January 20, 2023, in Belgrade, MT, with his sister Tess at his side.

Jim was born in Helena, MT, on July 28, 1942, to Paul John and Emma Elizabeth (Schwarzhans) Farlan, joining older brother Paul and eventually welcoming sisters Judith, Mary, and Tess over the years and the places the family made their home.

Jim and Paul frequently joined their Uncle Louie at his Rimini Ranch for numerous adventures growing up, many involving underage driving of an old Jeep. Multiple cousins, including Ritch Rauser, joined in the Rimini antics over the years.

Jim graduated from Great Falls Central High School in 1960, worked at the Great Falls smelter, and joined the Montana Air National Guard, where he served as a jet engine mechanic. In 1964, the family relocated to Thompson Falls, where Jim worked on the family ranch, keeping the tractor, swather, and baling equipment running; helping to thaw the pipes during the Weber Gulch winters; and logging in the beautiful, deep forests of western Montana.

In 1969, Jim married Glenda Kendall. They bought their home in Thompson Falls on what is now Farlan Lane, where Jim opened and operated Jim’s Auto Repair until his retirement in 2004. Daughter Heather and son Micah completed their family along with numerous cats and dogs. While Jim and Glenda eventually divorced, they remained allies over the ensuing years.

Jim loved Rottweilers. He loved to hike and camp, hunt and fish with family and friends. He raised a variety of fruit trees, grafted apple trees, bought a cider press, and hosted annual family cider pressings. He excelled at getting a big load of wood cut and loaded before noon. He went to yard sales with his friend Dixie Hill, amassing an ugly vase collection in hopes of an Antiques Road Show worthy find. He hand-fed an injured doe, nursing her and her fawn back to health. He built birdhouses, picture frames, and furniture including chairs for the family ranch. He was an avid gardener and canned the fruits of his labor. He poured concrete planters and cultivated the most beautiful petunias. He picked huckleberries and foraged for morels. He fed the hummingbirds and watched the sunsets from his porch. He enjoyed regular morning coffee with the “gang’ at the parts house. Jim will be remembered for his keen sense of humor.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and brother Paul. He is survived by his sisters, Mary (Jerry) Murphy, and Tess (Tom) Moore, who did their darndest to keep him in his own home as long as they could, and after that to keep him safe and well cared for. He is also survived by his children, Heather (Chad) and Micah (Darcy); a granddaughter, Destiny; sister Judith (Richard) Webb; niece, Kim Lewis; former wife, Glenda; and numerous other nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of Jim’s life and family gathering will be held on a beautiful warm day at the family ranch at Rimini. Memorials or donations may be made to an animal shelter of choice, preferably one that helps Rottweilers in need.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Louis Farlan, please visit our flower store.


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