James Hamilton McLuskie, of Billings, and Carol Stream, Illinois, passed away Dec. 31, 2018, at the age of 97 in Carol Stream.
Jim was born on Jan. 18, 1921, in Washoe to Edward and Christina McLuskie. He graduated from Billings Senior High school, where he played basketball and American Legion baseball. Jim received a degree in Accounting from Billings Polytechnic College (later Rocky Mountain College). He tried to enlist in the Army right after Pearl Harbor but was turned down as the youngest son of a widowed mother. However, when his brother Doug was called up, Jim offered to take his place so Doug could get married and report at a later date. Jim joined the Army on June 19, 1942. He landed at Utah Beach shortly after D-Day and was later assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces as one of the 12th Army Group’s liaisons to the British command, carrying messages for General Walter Smith, receiving an autographed portrait from General Eisenhower and sitting in a lunch with General Patton.
Jim joined the Bureau of Reclamation in 1946 as an Assistant Employment Officer where he interviewed a young woman named Lillian Redman for a Legal Secretary Position. Jim and Lillian were married on April 21, 1951, and had one daughter, Anne. Jim remained at the Bureau for 40 years, progressing to the position of Regional Personnel Officer for a four state region. Jim was very involved in civic and charitable organizations as an Honorary Life Member of the Elks, a Life Member of the American Legion, a Life Member of the Knights of Columbus, and President of Billings Downtown Exchange Club 1981-82. In 1977-78 Jim served as Exalted Ruler of Billings Elks Lodge #394, was Elks Montana State President 1984-85 and Grand Esteemed Leading Knight 1991-92.
Jim lived a life of service, to his country, his community and his family. He will be deeply missed. Jim is survived by his daughter Anne Hafer, of Wheaton, Illinois; grandchildren James of Portland, Oregon, Matthew of Wheaton and Lindsey (Jase Oriet) of Billings; and bonus grandson Joseph Diamond (Sarah) of Chicago. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Lillian, two sisters Sophia and Laverne (Baumgartner) and brothers Hugh, Alexander, Clarence and Douglas.
Cremation has taken place. Memorials may be made to the Elks Memorial Fund, 934 Lewis Ave., Billings, MT 59101.