HENDERSON, Nev. — James “Jim” Michael Harnish, 52, of Henderson, formerly of Billings, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, after complications from a heart transplant.
Jim was born in Sidney, Mont., on Jan. 6, 1958, to his parents John and Jerry Harnish. He spent his younger years in Sidney and moved to Billings in l964. He attended high school in Orme, Ariz., and then transferred to Billings West High School, from which he graduated in l976. Jim received his BS degree in Individual, Youth, and Family Counseling, and Chemical Dependency from the University of Minnesota. Jim was a Chemical Dependency Counselor in Minneapolis, Billings, and Scottsdale, Ariz.
Jim's compassion and understanding for others and their situations impacted the lives of many people. He felt that it was an incredible blessing for him to have gained the trust of so many adults and children through his counseling. He continued to use his gift and be a part of many lives through the AA and NA programs, which were a very important part of his life. He was a mentor and special friend to so many throughout his life and across many miles.
Jim was a member of the Board of Directors of Tractor & Equipment Co. and HGI, the family business and worked at T & E for a time. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Crossroads Residential Aftercare in Minneapolis.
Jim had many interests, friends and family being the most important. He was an avid fly fisherman. He spent time with his sons and other family members fishing in Montana and Alaska. He had a passion for flying and, although health hindered him from getting his pilot's license, he logged in many hours of flying time. Jim enjoyed playing golf, traveling and many other outdoor sports. He was much loved for his positive and fun-loving personality; he was so quick-witted and always had a good joke to tell.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents John H. and Mary G. Harnish; and his brother, Jeff. He is survived by his sons, Clinton, Cody and Kyle Woodard; his sisters Mrs. Mike (Judi) Hickey, Joanne Blackford and Janine Harnish; his brother, John J. (Kathy) Harnish; and nine nieces and nephews and their families.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held at Faith Chapel in Billings on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. There will also be a memorial service in Las Vegas at Palm Mortuary on Thursday, Dec. 2. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel Billings. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com.
Memorials may be sent to Crossroads Residential Aftercare, 2823 South Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55405, Attn: Sharron Johnson. Jim was a Director Emeritus and very involved with the Crossroads program.