Jimmy Schlosser


Jimmy Dale Schlosser was born to Jim C. and Katherine (Kari) Schlosser on August 30, 1959, in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. His father was so excited to have a son that Jimmy’s sister, Treva, who was only 28 months old at the time, remembers her dad running in, smiling and yelling, “Mama had a great big boy!” He was delighted he had a son.

Jim grew up in Belle Fourche and learned invaluable lessons about life while working with his dad building the family trucking business. As a boy, still too young to drive, he could change a tire faster than any grown man. He tirelessly worked late nights mechanic- ing to keep the fleet running at his father’s shop. Jim was determined to help the business succeed, and in order to make the payments, he always made sure to get one more load than everyone else. He learned what a person could accomplish through hard work and determination by watching his parents and a special neighbor friend, John Roth.  Jim was very proud of his parents and how much they achieved in their lifetime.

On June 11, 1983, Jimmy and Beverly Cochrun were united in marriage. Jim often referred to Beverly as “the complete package,” and appreciated her drive and determination. They made a great team. He would often joke about taking his wife on a romantic motorcycle ride to irrigate the fields or A.I. the cows. She was a great partner to run the family ranch. They were blessed with four children, and enjoyed their 40th anniversary this summer.

Jim was a talented rancher, with an inquisitive mind and a natural ability to manage the herd efficiently. As a young rancher in a rural area, he challenged himself to be as self-sufficient as possible, even learning to do c-sections on his cows. His oldest son, Otto, jokes that Jim managed the herd with alchemy and intuition. He would often do things he could not explain, but it always seemed to work. Concurrent with running the ranch, Jim dedicated over 40 years of his life to securing and developing the bentonite reserves on the family ranch. He overcame countless obstacles and impossible odds to secure one of the last mineral patents issued in the United States. He was deeply appreciative of his neighbor, Jim Mauer, and his brilliant lawyer, Bill Marsh, for helping him. Jim’s whole family is grateful beyond measure for the gift he gave us through his dedication and never giving up on his impossible dream. Jim always said he could learn something from everybody and loved to find ways to use people’s talents. He had a knack for finding a job, or several, for anybody who came within eyesight.

First his daughter, Savanna, and then his daughter-in-law, Demarest, served as Jim’s secretary and typist. He enjoyed composing lengthy emails with them and marveling at the “catchy” letters they wrote. He often commented about how very lucky he was to have such good office help. Jim did not have any conventional hobbies, preferring to leave a legacy by improving anything he could, whether it be a building, road, fence, corral, or even a creek crossing. He said that the secret to success was, “Every day do everything you have to do and then do a little more.” Of his many skill sets and abilities, he considered himself foremost to be an equipment operator. He often said that if someone else was capable of thinking of something and building it, he could at least make it go and keep it running.

Jim enjoyed building roads with his son Jed and valued Jed’s attention to detail in finishing and his skill operating the scraper. Jim was happiest when he had multiple projects going on, which usually included at least one road construction, a concrete job, and a building project simultaneously. Jim had a lot of fun utilizing his son Chester’s engineering talents by having Chet draw out Jim’s designs and help his projects come to life. When he wasn’t building something or entertaining grandkids, he was often riding with Otto in the side-by-side where they mostly civilly planned for future projects and discussed how to solve issues.

Few men have, or ever will, possess such a wide range of skills, talents, and the level of determination to accomplish as much as Jim did in his endeavors. His family will be spending the next several years finishing up the projects Jim had initiated, and the next few generations completing the projects he had dreamed up. A skill much appreciated by his family was his exceptional ability to make his grandchildren smile and laugh. He made the most mundane tasks seem extra special for the grandkids. From taking out the garbage to feeding cows, everything was exciting with Grandpa. He was often seen riding his dirt bike with 1 to 3 grandchildren on board. He liked to tell the kids, “Let me fix your cheeks!” as he playfully squeezed their cheeks together. He would say, “Lift your hands like you’re being robbed!” and then tickle them under their arms. We will all miss his made-up version of “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” which was a yearround hit with the grandkids.

During his later years, as Jim became very interested in natural remedies, he repeatedly encouraged his grandkids to eat sauerkraut. One day Heidi (9) saw him coming and exclaimed, “Oh no, here comes Grandpa! He’s probably coming to make us eat sauerkraut!” The day before he passed away a treasured picture was taken of him playfully covering his young grandsons, Fulton (4) and Anselm (1) in the loader bucket of sand.

Jim died suddenly of a heart attack on Thursday, September 28, 2023, at about 6:30 a.m. At the time, he was working with members of family on the hill upon which he was building his dream house, on one of his favorite days – concrete day – which is how he would have wanted to go. He would have been so proud of his grandson, Conrad (15), for making the decision to finish the pour, and working with his sister, Lillian (13), while Beverly, Chet, and Otto drove Jim to meet the ambulance.

Jim D. was preceded in death by his parents, Jim C. and Katherine M. Schlosser. Grateful for sharing his life is his loving wife Beverly; his son Otto (wife Demarest Thompson) whose children are Conrad, Lillian, Heidi, Sterling, Clark, Hazel, Fulton, Anselm, and a new baby due April 2024; his daughter Savanna (husband Samuel Barcus) whose children are Thayne, Reagan, Wesley, Claire, and Cordelia; his son Jed (wife Hannah Frerking) whose child is Valerie; his son Chester (wife Mollie Rose-Fish) whose children are Liam, and Noah; his sister Treva Pino (spouse Eric) and their daughter Joan; and his sister Rachel (formerly Jodi Leigh) Johnson (husband Stephen) and their children Tayler and Haven.

A Vigil was held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 5th, at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church in Belle Fourche, SD. The funeral Mass was held October 6th at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church in Belle Fourche, SD. Procession to the family ranch north of Hulett, Wyoming, will immediately follow the funeral mass, for a cemetery consecration and burial which will take place at approximately 12:30 p.m. A meal will follow the burial. Arrangements are under the care of Kline Funeral Chapel in Belle Fourche. An online guest book and video tribute is available at klinefuneralchapel.com