5-31-30 to 5-7-2022
James T. Bessent, born in Orofino on May 31, 1930 to Bedford and Ruby Bessent, died May 7, 2022 in Orofino.
Jim was the student body president at Orofino High School, graduating from Orofino High School in 1948.
In high school Jim played football, basketball and baseball. He attended the University of Idaho; North Idaho College of Education (NICE), now Lewis Clark State College; and Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA, playing basketball at NICE.
After college Jim was active in town team basketball with John Hutchinson, Monk Montgomery and Pete Nygaard.
Jim married Bonnie Jolstead on Nov. 1, 1951. The couple was married for 70 years.
He was a member of the Lions Club, the Clearwater County Chairman of the March of Dimes, a city councilman, on the board of the Dworshak Recreation District, and was also a member of the Orofino Volunteer Fire Department, serving as the Assistant Fire Chief, in charge of education. Jim enjoyed taking the fire truck to the Orofino Elementary School to instruct grade school kids on fire safety.
Jim was the announcer for Orofino Celebrations Inc. (OCI) for over 40 years, He began announcing for Lumberjack Days in high school by announcing the results of the logging show from a flatbed truck, driving around town.
He owned and ran his own grocery stores in Orofino and Elk City. He was also employed by Crocketts, Oud’s Hardware, Abram’s Hardware, and worked at Hanson Garage for 19 years, from where he retired.
For twenty years after retirement Jim and Bonnie spent their winters in Yuma, Arizona.
Jim is survived by his wife, Bonnie; son, Mike and wife Pam; son, Gary; and daughter, Tracie and husband Luke Aldrich; several grandchildren; sister, Betty Zech and niece, Shelley Long.
Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children or to St. Jude’s Cancer Center.