Cover photo for Norma Gay James's Obituary
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1940 Norma 2021

Norma Gay James

June 5, 1940 — January 17, 2021

Norma Gay Siren James, aged 81, passed away on January 17, 2022, in Bozeman, MT. Norma was born June 5, 1940, in Afton, WY to Wayne and Lillian Siren. She lived and attended grade school in Smoot, WY and graduated from high school in Rock Springs, WY. Norma met her future husband, Bently Ray James in 1956 in Jackson Hole, WY, and the loving couple later married in 1958. Together, they raised six children. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Bently, daughter Joyce Hamilton, and sons-in-law Earl Hamilton and Brian Moore.

Norma often spoke fondly of her idyllic childhood in Star Valley, WY. Among her favorite memories were the warm summer days spent up the Greys River where her father worked in the Old Blind Bull Coal Mine and after-school visits to her grandmother’s house where she was served hot bread fresh from the oven.

While Norma was a dedicated wife and mother, she was also a committed civil servant for her entire career. After she and Bently married, they settled in Riverton, WY before moving to Rawlins, WY, and later, Bozeman, MT. In 1969, they settled in Deer Lodge, MT, where Bently worked as a correctional officer at the Montana State Prison and where Norma began a career as a dispatcher for the Montana Highway Patrol. In 1980, the couple returned to Rawlins, with Bently continuing his career as a correctional officer at Wyoming State Prison, and with Norma furthering her career as the dispatch supervisor for the Rawlins Police Department. She tirelessly served in this position for over 22 years, retiring in 2002. To be closer to family, she then moved to Bozeman where she resided until her passing.

Norma was an avid outdoorswoman, and she could often be found fishing up Racetrack Creek and later cooking that day's catch with fried potatoes in a Dutch oven or a cast-iron skillet oven over a campfire. She loved hunting, especially pheasants. She was also an accomplished quilter, knitter, and crocheter; her blankets and crafts are now treasured gifts in her family. In her retirement, she took delight in reading crime dramas and historical novels. She also enjoyed completing jigsaw puzzles--the more challenging, the better--and spending evenings playing board and dice games with her children and grandchildren. Norma was also the family archeologist, digging up and sifting through past historical records to create and maintain a genealogical record spanning centuries.

Norma is survived by her brother, Wayne Siren (Linda), sons Glenn James (Patricia) and Andrew James (Sharon), daughters Karen Parker (Wayne), Robin Hoover (Jeffrey), and Terri James (Tony). She is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

At Norma’s request, the family will not hold a service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project, as Norma was especially proud of the military service of her children and grandchildren.

Though she is no longer with us, her legacy, her memories, and her love will be carried on throughout her family for generations to come.

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


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