James Howard Eastlick Sr., 75, of Laurel, Montana passed away on December 13, 2019 after a hard-fought battle with COPD. He maintained his trademark sense of humor and knack for storytelling all the way to the end.
Dad was born in Billings, Montana on December 15, 1943 to Floyd (Pinky) and Margaret (Cram) Eastlick. He attended Park City High School and enlisted in the Navy on August 15, 1962. He served on the USS Bayfield (APA-33) until August 10, 1964 during which he came back with many great stories and even more tattoos.
Dad was married two times. The first was to Susan Foster for 16 years and the second to Cathy Hauk for 4 years. Dad would explain the reason for his divorces as either his being too much man for one woman or that he was hard to live with. He always said he was pretty sure it was the first one, but it would depend on who you asked.
Dad worked for Burlington Northern Railroad immediately upon his discharge from the Navy. After retiring from the railroad, he ran a crew transport company which allowed him to travel and visit with fellow railroaders.
Dad enjoyed classic cars, guns, fast food, and sweets of any kind. When he was well, he never missed a sporting event that his children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren were playing. When dad’s activities were limited by his COPD, he enjoyed watching televised sporting events and rodeos, taking drives out to Valley Creek or along the Stillwater, communicating with friends and family on Facebook, and telling stories to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. A special memory for everyone will always be the first time that dad took them over tickle-belly hill.
Dad lived for his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. You could call him at three o’clock in the morning and tell him you needed him to pick you up three states away and he would not hesitate, ask why, or complain. He would just show up. That was our dad.
He was preceded in death by his father, Floyd (Pinky) Eastlick, his mother, Margaret Eastlick, and his brother Robert (Bob) Eastlick.
Dad is survived by his children James (Stacie) Eastlick, Jr., Tammy (Eastlick) Leischner, Dexter (Kelsie) Eastlick, his sister-in-law Wanda (Bob) Eastlick, 11 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and one beloved grand dog (Kramer).
A memorial will be held at 4pm on December 27, 2019 at the AL Bedoo Shrine (Lodge Room upstairs), 1125 Broadwater Ave, Billings, Montana.
A special thank you to Sindi Smith, Darwin Hammer, and Jim Blinn for your friendship and help to our father. And to the staff at Billings Clinic Hospital and Dr’s Merchant and Baumgartner for the care, professionalism, and attention given to our father.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.