James "Jim" Arthur Flansburg

Tuesday, June 7th, 1938 - Thursday, October 1st, 2020
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James Arthur Flansburg, 82, of Missoula, passed away on October 1, 2020 surrounded by family. Jim was born on June 7, 1938 in Havre to John and Emma (Faechner) Flansburg. He attended grade school in Box Elder and high school in Stevensville, prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy at age 17. Jim proudly served aboard the USS Lofberg, a destroyer, and had the opportunity to travel throughout the Far East and Pacific Ocean. While in the Navy he worked as an electrician.

After serving his country, Jim returned to Montana and married the love of his life, Joyce Rocek. The couple made Missoula their home, raising three children which he loved dearly. Jim worked at Intermountain Lumber and returned to school, learning to operate mapping equipment. He was then hired by the U.S. Forest Service. He worked as a Montana licensed land surveyor and cartographer for the Lolo National Forest. Jim was especially proud that he was able to fly aboard helicopters and provide plotting data to fire crews to assist with fighting wildfires. His career with the Forest Service spanned 34 years before he retired in 1999.

Jim has been involved with Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Backcountry Horsemen and Missoula Alliance Church. He was an accomplished artist. Jim excelled in watercolor painting, pen and ink sketches, woodcarving and bronzes. His artwork has been on the cover of many issues of the Treasure State Surveyor, a surveyors’ journal. His pen and ink sketches are well known for the surveyors’ tools that are subtly hidden within the artwork. Jim loved spending time outdoors; hunting, fishing, camping and boating at the lake with his family.

Once at a graveside service of a friend, Jim heard mules braying in the distance. He said he believed there must be horses in heaven. We believe Jim is now reunited with his beloved horse, Zipper, in heaven.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce, Missoula; son, Rick Flansburg (Agata), Burke, Virginia, daughter, Bonnie Kahler (Les), Florence, and daughter Kim Reiser (Ray), Missoula. Jim was so very proud of his six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are being made through Garden City Funeral Home, Missoula.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Faith Therapeutic Riding Service (, Missoula Alliance Church (, or Back Country Horsemen of Missoula (
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Harry & Lee Kahler Dana & Leo Johnson Terry & Ken, Ingrid and Kent Miller, and other have sent flowers to the family of James "Jim" Arthur Flansburg.
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Bonnie & Tom Lee

Posted at 07:00pm
Dear Joyce and Family,
We are sending you our deepest condolences. We were so sorry to read about Jim's death earlier this month. It has been many years since we last visited, but we remember Jim (and you all) fondly from the days when Kim and Brittany played together as youngsters. May your family, friends and faith soften the sorrow you must be feeling and make the days ahead more tolerable.
Again, our sincerest sympathy,
Bonnie & Tom Lee

Harry & Lee Kahler Dana & Leo Johnson Terry & Ken

Posted at 10:35pm
To the Flansburg Family We all thought the world of Jim and we will miss him.
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Harry & Lee Kahler Dana & Leo Johnson Terry & Ken purchased flowers for the family of James "Jim" Flansburg. Send Flowers


Cliff and Carole Baker

Posted at 12:13pm
Jim was in our Life Group with his wife Joyce. He was such a gentle soul, kind and caring. I treasure the itching he drew that we have hanging in our dining room. What a talent artist he was. We are thanking the Lord that he is no longer in pain, but in the arms of Jesus!
Cliff and Carole Baker

Ingrid and Kent Miller

Posted at 10:44am
Dear Joyce and family, Ingrid and I were so saddened to hear of Jim's passing. He was such a good, peaceful, man full of heart. Sorry for your loss.
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Bill Lees

Posted at 06:30pm
Joyce and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. We spent a lot of time in the hills east of the slope hunting antelope. It was always a great time. He was always off looking over the next horizon. My wife shared with me a great note I hope you will find comforting; "Morn not to long that he is gone but rejoice forever that he was." May God bless you all. Bill and Raenelle Lees

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