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CMSgt (ret) James Horace Kildare, 69, of Great Falls passed away with his wife and daughter by his side, on Monday, December 16, 2013 at Benefis Hospital due to stroke complications.
At his request no services are being planned. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Croxford Funeral Home.
Jim was born in Miles City, Montana on October 2, 1944. to parents John "Jack" Kildare and Myrtle Cain. His youth was spent between Miles City and the Cain family ranch in Volborg, Montana. He attended Custer County High School, and graduated in 1962. Soon after graduation he joined the United States Air Force as a RADAR Evaluator. He married Susan Wright, also of Miles City, May 23, 1963, while attending tech school in Amarillo, Texas. Together they raised four children: Sean, Brendan, Michael, and Shannon.
The Air Force was Jim's passion and he made it his career. He traveled the world with two tours in Germany that included an assignment in what was then West Berlin. He felt fortunate to serve there during the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1992 he completed an Associates of Applied Science in Electronic Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.
He retired in 1993 as a Chief Master Sergeant after 30 years of service. He then worked for Swift Transportation as a long-haul driver and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway as a section man. In 1999 he returned to the military world as a civilian instructor with the 84th RADAR Evaluation Squadron. There he discovered joy and satisfaction that comes with teaching. He retired from the workforce once and for all in 2007.
In his free time, Jim enjoyed reading, especially thrillers and historical works. He loved talking and joking around with his granddaughter, Breana, who was the light of his life. His hobbies included admiring classic cars, gardening, giving to charity, most notably the Great Falls Rescue Mission and animal rescue organizations, and watching football. He was an enthusiastic New Orleans Saints fan, even during the "Aints" years.
Jim is survived by his wife of 50 years, Susan Kildare of Great Falls; sister, Jean Craycroft of Miles City; sons, Sean Kildare of Great Falls and Michael (Jazmin) Kildare of Goleta, CA; daughter, Shannon Kildare of Great Falls; granddaughters, Breana Hylla of Great Falls and Brittany (Taylor) Eden; and great-granddaughter, Cailey Eden.
He was preceded in death by his son, Brendan Kildare; sister, Bessie Ann Callen; and parents, Jack Kildare and Myrtle Cain.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation in Jim's honor be made to the Great Falls Rescue Mission or a charity of your choice.