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James “Jim” Theodore Bechtold

James “Jim” Theodore Bechtold

James Theodore Bechtold


- January 20, 2020

James “Jim” Theodore Bechtold, 74 of Spearfish, SD passed away peacefully on January 19, 2020 at his home surrounded by family.

Jim was born June 26, 1945 in Baker, MT the second child of seven to Theodore “Ted” Bechtold and Leona (Scheuffele) Schafer. Jim grew up south of Baker on the family farm on the 101 Road. He attended Hiddenwater Country School until the 8th grade and continued his schooling at Baker High School where he graduated in 1963. While attending Baker High School he met his high school sweetheart, Marlene Joyce Hayden.

That fall Jim enlisted into the United States Navy and while serving he was awarded the Vietnam Service Metal. He was honorably discharged in 1967 with a rank of E-4 2nd Class. While serving his country Jim and Marlene wed June 27, 1965. To this union four children were born; Brenda, Douglas, Rodney, and Kimberly. While living in Baker he was an active member of the American Lutheran Church. He worked at Midland Lumber where he eventually became manager.

Jim and Marlene moved to Spearfish, SD in 1987. There he worked in facility services at Black Hills State University where he retired in 2006.

Jim was an avid golfer, winning his only trophy for shortest drive. He loved car and motorcycle rides through the Black Hills, sitting on his patio with a cup of coffee listening to his fountain and feeding the blue jays. He enjoyed watching college and professional sports, especially his Green Bay Packers. He spent time with his family playing whist, going to movies and sitting on the veranda in Deadwood. He took pleasure in teasing Marlene to get a rise out of her.

He will be remembered for his sense of humor and his made up vocabulary. Also, his smirk when he was up to something and his belly laugh.

Jim is survived by his loving wife, Marlene, of 54 years. His four children: Brenda (Courtney) Dietz of Baker, MT, Doug (Michelle) Bechtold of Dickinson, ND, Rodney Bechtold of Spearfish, SD, and Kimberly Bechtold of Spearfish, SD; six grandchildren: Casey (Julia) Dietz of Denver, CO, Alyssa (David) Hamiel of Chamberlain, SD, Drew Bechtold of Dickinson, ND, Dawson Bechtold of Dickinson, ND, Jamin (Hope Williamson) of Gillette, WY, and Jalyn Carter of Spearfish, SD; five great-grandchildren with one on the way. His brothers and sisters. Jim was preceded in death by his parents Ted and Leona and several aunts and uncles.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapel in Spearfish. Inurnment with full Military Honors will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery in Spearfish.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jim’s memory to the Northern Hills Humane Society in Spearfish, SD.



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