James Julian Stephenson, age 58, passed away at Kootenai Medical Center on August 2, 2018. He was born August 1, 1960 in Wallace, Idaho, to Eugene (‘Steve’) and Elvira (‘Al’) Stephenson. Jim was 10years old when his family moved from Avery to Harrison, Idaho where he was raised.
Jim graduated from Kootenai High School in 1979. He was employed as a firefighter on a brush crew for a short time with the Idaho Department of Lands in St. Maries before enlisting in the U.S. Army where he served for 7 years. During his tour, he was stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas, as well as Germany. From there he was deployed to Desert Storm in Iraq. He was extremely proud of his time in the military. While in the Army, he received ratings of “Expert” as a marksman with both an M-16 rifle and grenade use. After an honorable discharge, he returned to Harrison and was a proud member of the local VFW. After his military career, Jim worked at various jobs in the area, including the mill in Plummer, and with the Harrison Dock Builders.
Jim enjoyed fishing, hunting, woodcarving and drawing. He was also a hodgepodge craftsman long before the art was officially recognized. He delighted in combining pieces of leather, rocks, wood, beads, shells, and anything else that drew his interest, into unique artworks he shared with friends and family.
Jim married Vickie Ferguson after graduation from high school; they had two children, Jesse and Cynthia. The marriage ended in divorce, and Jim later married Laura Bircher; they had one son, Jacob. That marriage also ended.
Jim is survived by his three children Jesse Stephenson of California, Cyndi Stockton of Whitefish, Montana, and Jacob Stephenson of Clayton, North Carolina; grandchildren Annabelle Stephenson, Hallie Stockton, Owen Stockton and Ian Stockton; his sister Fran (Doug) Stephenson of Great Falls, Montana; his brother Dick (Wendy) Stephenson of the Harrison Flats; his sister Jean (Larry) Haller of Sunray, Texas; his sister Mary (Dan) Bondra of Dalton Gardens; and his brother-in-law John Destito of Mesa, Arizona; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents as well as his brother Larry Stephenson, and his sister Janet Destito.
Hodge Funeral Home is coordinating a graveside memorial service. The service will be in the Harrison Cemetery on Saturday, August 25, at 11:00 a.m.