James Perry Muri “Jim” was born on Oct. 19, 1918, in Cartersville, Mont., and passed on Feb. 3, 2013, in Laurel, at the age of 94.
Jim was the second child born to Rasmus P. and Nelle Muri. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Alice (Moyer); brothers Andy and wife Lorraine (Lockie), Bob (Jeanne Lockie); and his beloved sister, Anna Mae (Bill Leichner).
Jim is survived by his children, Jim (Jan Kishida) of Puyallup, Wash., and Sylvia (Ron Saadati) of Kingsport, Tenn.; older brother Bill (Virginia Reid); younger brothers Buck (Dannie Lockie), Karl (Joyce Criswell) and Pete (Anita Shores), all of Miles City.; and his sister, Marie (Chuck Ansoms) of southern California. Jim has seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Jim is a graduate of Custer County High School of Miles City, Class of 1936, and was an active member of the basketball, football and track teams, as well as the aeronautics club.
Jim retired in 1959 as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Air Force. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross (the nation’s second-highest military award) for his service as an Army Air Corps B26 pilot in the crucial and historic Battle of Midway.
Jim had a wonderful, love-filled, 60-year marriage to Alice Anne Moyer of Riverside, Calif. Jim named his Midway B26 after Alice’s nickname, “Susie Q.”
Jim had many interesting experiences and was a renowned storyteller. Jim loved telling people of his wild years in northeast Montana and his many military adventures. How many of those stories were 100 percent accurate?? Only Jim knew. But they were wonderful stories for all of us to hear. What Jim knew was that there was nobody left to argue the truth of these stories.
Jim was a true patriot in our nation’s greatest generation and was the last PROUD surviving B26 crew member from the Battle of Midway.
Services are planned Thursday, Feb. 7, at 3 p.m., at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave., Billings. Separate services will be held Friday, Feb. 8, in Miles City. (See Miles City Star for details.)
In lieu of flowers, Jim would love donations to be sent to The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Drive, Laurel, MT 59044, where he thoroughly enjoyed his last three years.