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Stevensville, Montana, 59870
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James E. Lotan

Died: Sat., Aug. 10, 2013

- Service details not available -

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STEVENSVILLE - James E. Lotan, 82, of Stevensville, passed away Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, at Community Medical Center in Missoula.

Jim was born March 20, 1931, in Lake City, Mich., to William and Marion (McVicar) Lotan. As a young boy, he grew up on the Lotan family farm, where he developed his respect and love for draft horses. His family moved to Pontiac, Mich., to own and run a family grocery store. Jim worked in the family store during after-school hours and graduated from Pontiac High School. After high school, Jim served in the U.S. Coast Guard for three years.

On April 28, 1951, he married Ruth E. Christoffersen in Pontiac. Together they made numerous moves across the United States in support of his education and career. They had five children, Gloria Marie, Ellen Marie, James Eric Christopher, Leif Eric Christopher and Kari Marie.

Jim received his bachelor's degree in forestry from Louisiana State University in 1959, his master's degree in forestry from the University of Michigan in 1961 and his doctorate in forestry sciences from the University of Michigan in 1970. He worked in a variety of forestry research positions including the Deerlodge National Forest out of Boulder, the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, Mich., the Forestry Sciences Lab in Bozeman and the Northern Forest Fire Laboratory and Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Missoula. He also served as an adjunct professor for the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. Upon retirement from the U.S. Forest Service, Jim owned and operated Lotan Horse Logging out of Stevensville.

Jim was a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church and the American Legion in Stevensville. He was an avid hunter and horseman. He was proud of demonstrating horse logging on national forest and private lands. He enjoyed photography and in later years also enjoyed gardening and growing tomatoes in his greenhouse. Always with an interest in the latest technology, "Gadget Man" prided himself on the ability to learn and use today's social media. Long-distance family and friends will miss the weekly and sometimes daily chats with Jim on Skype and Facebook.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth of Stevensville; daughter and son-in-law, Gloria (Richard) Stablein of Monroe, Wash.; son, J. Eric Christopher Lotan of Stevensville; daughter and son-in-law, Kari (Monte) Clark of Stevensville; grandson, Christopher (Jennifer) Stablein of Sultan, Wash.; granddaughter, Karlyn (John) Clark of Maple Valley, Wash.; and grandson, Alexander Lotan of Stevensville. James has five great-grandchildren, Hunter, Leif and Finn Clark and Keira and Keeley Stablein. He is also survived by brothers, Welland, Larry and Russell Lotan; and a sister, Marcia Lotan Groves. He was preceded in death by his son, Leif Eric Christopher Lotan; and daughter, Ellen Marie Lotan.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Our Savior Lutheran Church on Pine Hollow Road in Stevensville, followed by graveside service at Riverside Cemetery in Stevensville.

The family suggests memorials in Jim's name to Our Savior Lutheran Church, 129 Pine Hollow Road, Stevensville, MT 59870, or a horse rescue facility of your choice.

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Condolence Booklet

Ron Wakimoto
   Posted Wed August 14, 2013
Dear Ruth and Family. I am very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was a wonderful man who always seemed to have the right attitude about life, work, and recreation.

When I first move to Missoula from Berkeley I took a visiting faculty friend (at Christmas time) to the fire lab to tour the place. Randy was an animal nutrition professor at Berkeley then and sported a cowboy hat and big waxed mustache being from Oklahoma State. Jim was the only one working in the entire building! Elk season was OVER! Jim wore a vest that I believe was black bear skin tanned with the hair on. He and Randy talked horses and nutrition for some time, and then we left. When we got into my truck, Randy asked, "Who was that COWBOY?" I laughed and said, "Hell, Jim runs the lab!" Randy shook his head and said, "Well I'll be go to hell!" Take care! RON

cherry Smith
   Posted Thu August 15, 2013
My hearfelt prayers are with you Ruth and Family.
Heaven is a sweeter place with him there..I know he will be missed.
Gods Speed

Roger Hungerford
   Posted Thu August 15, 2013
Dear Ruth, Gloria, Eric, and Kari,

I am saddened by the news of Jim's passing. I had not seen Jim for awhile now, but I have thought about Him often. Jim was always a blessing to me whether we were talking about the Lord, fire research, using the work horses or whatever. I will always be grateful to Jim for the discussions we had about research and the input he gave me during my career. I always look back with fond memories of learning about the workhorses from Jim. He helped me so much when I got my own team. You will be missed Jim.

May the Lord comfort and bless you all in this time of loss. I will be out of town for the service. May God give you His grace and peace.


Howard Skaggs
   Posted Thu August 15, 2013
Dear Ruth and kids:

Of course I was shocked and deeply saddened when I red of Jim's passing on the Missoulian web page. I know its been a long time since we've seen each other, but I have thought of our old group often. My heartfelt condolences to you in your grief. Love, Howard.

Donna Kellough
   Posted Fri August 16, 2013
My heart goes out to the entire Lotan clan. Jim was a wonderful person who cared dearly for others, he was a mighty servant and wise councilor for our Lord as he served as an elder for many at Our Savior Lutheran Church. I feel blessed to have had him as my advisor and friend, as I worked at the church, He was always available when needed. It is with heavy heart I say goodbye for now. Today heaven is rejoicing and Jim is smiling as he is once again in the presence of his beloved children, Leif and Ellen. Well done good and faithful servant, you will be missed!

Rick & Rachel Oberheu
   Posted Fri August 16, 2013
Dearest Ruth and family,

Our love and prayers for each of you with Jim's passing. How hard to see a loved one leave this physical earth when they will be missed so much.

What wonderful memories we have of times enjoyed with Jim. Riding horses; enjoying dinner together; elk hunting and horse trips into the back country; and helping on the ranch.

The greatest gift that Jim shared is faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior; trusting God to take great care of him in all circumstances and relying on the Holy Spirit to sustain his faith.

Ruth, together you and Jim remained steadfast servants of the Lord when the world would tempt you to walk a different path. In that faith you now entrust Jim in eternal life. We can just see his beaming smile as the Lord declared "well done, thou good and faithful servant". Thanks be to God who gives believers in Jesus Christ the victory over death.

May God graciously comfort each of you during this time.

Romans 8:38-39
Jeremiah 29:11

Full Moon Saloon
   Posted Fri August 16, 2013
Your Full Moon Saloon family sends heartfelt condolences to you & your family. Our thoughts & prayers are with you

Full Moon Saloon
   Posted Fri August 16, 2013
Your Full Moon Saloon family sends our heartfelt condolences to you & your family. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.

Susie English Hendrickson
   Posted Fri August 16, 2013
Ruthie and family
Jim was a great neighbor when Jack & I lived on the Burnt Fork. Never a dull moment with him. I know he will be missed by all of you. It's been awhile since I have seen you Ruthie, but I know you are strong and will carry on.

Gene Crosby
   Posted Fri August 16, 2013
Dear Ruth and Eric: Rhonda and I were Shocked and Sadden to hear of Jims passing, he was a generous fellow and we counted him a friend, he'll be missed by all
that knew him....

Troy and Cindi Tack
   Posted Sat August 17, 2013
To the Lotan Family, we were so saddened to hear the news of Jim's passing today. I will greatly miss his occasional stops he would make in front of our house while we were out working in the yard or on a walk just to say hello and talk awhile. He always had a smile and a kind word to say. He will be deeply missed. Our heartfelt condolences to all of you at this difficult time.

Alan and Janice Kellley
   Posted Thu August 29, 2013
Ruth and family, We are very sorry to learn of Jim's recent passing. Our sincere regards to all of you.

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