Schnider Funeral Home Great Falls Montana


James Borgreen
James Borgreen


James Borgreen

Dec 25, 1949 - Jun 28, 2015

James “Jim” Carl Borgreen, 65, of Lewistown, died of natural causes on June 28, 2015, near his family cabin in Monarch.

Jim was born in Great Falls on December 25, 1949, to Carl and Ellen (Johnstone) Borgreen.  He grew up on Smelter Hill where his father was the Safety Engineer for the Anaconda Company. He often told stories of these idyllic childhood years, which along with his many adventures and antics at their family cabin were some of his happiest of memories. Upon his father's untimely death in 1959, Jim moved into Great Falls with his mother, older siblings, John and Judy, as well as his younger brother, Jerry. He was proud of his education in Great Falls, and graduated from Great Falls High in 1968.

From childhood, Jim displayed a rare talent for wildlife art, and he continued his education at Montana State University-Bozeman. He graduated in 1972 with his Bachelor’s degree in Art Education. He later completed his Masters degree through Montana State University Northern. Never one to ignore his patriotic responsibilities, Jim enlisted in the Montana Air National Guard in that same year and served for six years. Jim married Pat Mausehund, in 1974. They were married 25 years, and together raised their two children, Molly and Mike. Jim taught at Fergus High School in Lewistown, where he had a profound, yet steady and lasting influence on 34 years worth of high school students.

Jim received multiple awards, honors and accolades for his stunning wildlife artwork. However, he saw the value of his talent in how he could use it for the benefit of others. Jim was known for his generosity and community spirit, donating countless pieces of art work for fundraising efforts and as tokens of appreciation for friends and the many land owners of central Montana.  In fact, Jim most likely donated more art than he ever sold.

In 2003, he married longtime friend, LaVonne Emerson. They enjoyed 12 years of camping and fishing together. Since his retirement in 2010, Jim has been prolific as an artist and an activist in wildlife conservation issues. Never one to stop when there was work to be done. Jim began seasonal research work for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks following his retirement.

Jim’s greatest pleasures in life were of enjoying nature, in hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking. He enjoyed a lifetime of these activities, but his fondest memories were those times he shared his with children, his close hunting companions and his wife, LaVonne. 

Jim was an honest, self-reliant, humble, quick-witted, and disciplined man. He will not only be remembered as a terrific teacher, artist, father, brother, friend, and grandfather but also for his devotion to wildlife conservation. As many have said, he was a wonderful "hunting and fishing buddy".

Above all else, Jim was a loving and devoted father and grandfather.  He enjoyed his time ice fishing, drawing, playing cards or even washing dishes with his granddaughter, Grace. He spent hours searching for empty .22 shells and ‘mushrooms’ with his grandson, Logan.

Jim’s last words, recorded in the log book of his family cabin, relayed his excitement of finally drawing a moose permit in that area. While on a scouting trip for this hunt, he died suddenly of a cardiac event.  Jim died doing what he loved, in a place he cherished. For that his family is grateful.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Ellen (Nell).

He is survived by his wife, Lavonne; ex-wife, Pat; daughter, Molly (Kevin) Beck; son, Mike (Diane); and grandchildren, Grace and Logan Beck. Jim is also survived by his brothers John (Julie) and Jerry, as well as his sister, Judy (Gary) Marxer. In addition, Jim is survived by step children, Leslie Parks, and Jon Ducimetiere. Of course, we cannot forget all the nieces, nephews, and wonderful friends who were a big part of Jim's life.

A memorial service will be held Monday, July 6, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at the Fergus High School Performing Art Center in Lewistown, Montana.

Jim was not one for flowers, rather the family requests donations in his name, be sent to the Central Montana Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Lewistown Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, or Lewistown Chapter of the Bowhunters Association.

Public Guest Book

Jul 1st
Gary Bertellotti
To Jims family and freinds, Jim was part of the FWP family where we met. He brought his best to everything he did and he will be missed. however his legacy will live on through his work, family, friends and the results of his devotion to the natural world we have in Montana. My condolences to all who knew him.
Jul 1st
Tina Mintyala-Stricker
I will forever be humbled by the gift of art I received from Jim. He was so patient and kind to all of us. I have continued to appreciate his art work as it was published and promoted.

Jim will be missed by many, but he left each of us with a piece of his kindness and talent.

Draw on!
Jul 1st
Limpus Family
Mr. Borgreen will be missed by all of us in the Limpus Family. We are proud to have been his students and his friends. We know without him we would not be the people we have become. Even through the toughest times Mr. B made us feel like we could do anything. We honor him and all he did for all of his students and Fergus High School.

God Bless,
Treacy Gumeson, Flint Limpus, Mary Brown, Scotty Limpus and LaVonne Jurack-Limpus
Jul 2nd
Rose Jaffe
Jim was a rare blend of unwavering kindness, dedication, talent, patience, quick-witted humor and gentle ribbing, compassion, fix-anything on the fly ability, and a true friend. A rare gem indeed. Mike and Diane, I hold you in my heart and thoughts. With love, Rose
Jul 2nd
Renee (Mancebo) Goss
My deepest sympathy to Mr Borgreen's family. I loved to draw, paint, and create. He was my art teacher, and my friend. He helped me utilize my imagination thru my art. He taught me about expanding my techniques with color, lines, and creating thru visualization.
I am a hairstylist, Senior Instructor and owner of a Beauty College in Michigan. I utilize techniques and skills- (shared with me in my early years of art, taught by a patient, talented, understanding art teacher)-with my Cosmetology students.
Mr Borgreen, I've told you before and I say it all the time -
Thank You!!!!
You will be missed!! R.I.P great Art Teacher of FHS '76
Jul 2nd
Melissa Thompson
My sympathies to Mike and Molly and the rest of Mr. Borgreen's family. I only knew Mr. Borgreen as a teacher, but he was one of the best, and I have many happy memories of him encouraging his students imagination and creativity. He touched many lives in such positive ways. He'll be greatly missed.
Jul 2nd
Peder Butenhoff
I want to share with all of Jim's family how much he meant to me and how he made my life different. We met at times and talked but I wish I would have told him how inspiring he was, and not just expected it. It really starts with my older brothers Chuck, and John. WELL, he taught and inspired them first. And if you are the little brother, you want to be like your older brothers. But when I began classes, he said, "you are different. You have a different eye than your brothers". And he pushed a little and pushed a little and pretty soon you were yourself and found things you could do not just like your brothers. When I left HS, I wanted to be a high bred Mr. Borgreen. I wanted to teach Art but also coach football and golf. I am there. I am living my dream because Borgreen was the man. I would stop and visit him over the years. We would talk shop, He would give me handouts, and talk about kids. He always had a keen eye to the kids. I will never forget how big of a hero he was in 1987 when the shooting took place at FHS. He was a leader.
Today, there are three Butenhoff men who all teach Art. We are very proud and honored that it was Jim Borgreen who was our mentor. He taught us about teaching and how to treat people, about the love of the land and conservation, and how to just give a smile, shake a hand, and say hey!
God Bless him and may a little of him carry on with all of us.
Peder Butenhoff
Jul 3rd
Randy Zorner
So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. We were friends at MSU. He will be missed by all that knew him.


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