Jim Calhoon, age 77, of Winner, passed away on January 6, 2016 at the Winner Regional Healthcare Facility. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in Winner. Burial followed at the Winner City Cemetery.
James Raymond Calhoon, (aka, Jim R., Jimmy & Callie, his friends just called him Coach) was born on February 26, 1938 to Leon Raymond Calhoon & Wilma Amanda (Frantz) Calhoon in Winner, SD. He was the eldest of 3 boys. Jim lived on the family ranch northwest of Ideal. Jim attended grades 1-8 at Star Valley School. Finishing at the top of his class each year (he was the only one in his grade). Jim attended Winner High School, graduating in May of 1956, while in high school he was involved in football, baseball, declam, track, dramatics, music and tried to play basketball. He was not good at playing, though the game fascinated him.
Jim never played a second of varsity basketball. Jim, helped the high school basketball coach at 7:30am before school teaching basketball to the 4th-5th-6th grade boys. After graduation Jim played baseball and helped his dad on the ranch. The winter of 1957 Jim started coaching grade school basketball at Ideal. The next 14 years Jim coached basketball, baseball & football at Ideal, Hamill, Carter, Witten & Winner, while ranching northwest of Ideal. Jim & 3 other coaches formed the country conference in 1959, which still exists. Jim refereed, umpired and graduated from Auctioneer College in 1969 from Mason City, Iowa.
Jim was married to Anita L Spinar on June 8, 1958 in Colome, SD. They had three children Cyndy Lou, Lance Raymond & Rebecca Jane. The marriage ended in 1980. In January of 1970 Jim moved his family to Aberdeen, Jim enrolled at Northern State College to pursue his dream of being a coach. He received a BS in Education in 1973. Jim was assistant coach in football, basketball and head coach in baseball. While at NSC Jim was assistant coach at a football bowl game, two NAIA basketball tournaments and a college world series. Jim coached the Aberdeen Teeners in the summer time winning the state tournament in 1972. 1973-1975 Jim taught & coached football, baseball & basketball at Clark, SD. Jim taught PE & coached girls & boys basketball at McLaughlin SD from 1975-1980 taking them to the State Tournament three times. During 1981 Jim coached boys & girls basketball & track at New England St Mary’s in New England, ND.
In 1981-1982 Jim was assistant girls & boys basketball coach at Aberdeen Central High School in Aberdeen, SD. During the summers he umpired softball & baseball working 19 State and 2 National Tournaments. Jim attended NSC and received a master’s degree in classroom teaching and a master’s degree in school administration. 1982-1983 Jim was high school principal & basketball coach at South Shore, SD.
Jim met Linda Ann Larsen at Stockholm, SD. Jim & Linda were married on June 4, 1983 at Strandburg, SD. They spent the next six weeks traveling in 26 European countries, upon returning to the USA they lived in Aberdeen, SD. In 1985 they moved to White River. Jim taught, coached girls & boys basketball, track & baseball and was principal & athletic/activities director. 6 of his basketball teams qualified to play in the state tournament. Jim’s desire was that each student/athlete learned something positive from him. In 1989 Jim & Linda adopted a family of 3 children-Marie Ann-8, Adam Jacob-6 and Joanna Lynn(Jo)-3. In July 2015 after 30 years of living in White River Jim & Linda moved to Winner, SD.
Jim was a member of the Church of the Nazarene of White River for many years, serving as Sunday school teacher & superintendent, trustee and preached on many Sundays. Since 2005 Jim has been a member of & attended the Church of the Nazarene in Winner. Jim & Linda were Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle leaders in many of the schools for over 20 years. Jim was on the board of Directors for the SD Shorthorn Assn, the Mellette County Cattlemen Improvement Board, Mellette County Weed & Pest Board, the Board of Directors for the Coaches Assn for 6 years and the Basketball Coaches Assn. board of directors for 12 years & was president of the Basketball Coaches Assn for 1 term and was awarded Region Coach of the Year 11 times. He was named Northern State College(NSC) alumni coach of the year in 1995, received the SDHSAA distinguished service award in 1998 and was inducted into the SDHS Coaches Hall of Fame in 1999 & the South Dakota High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Shrine in 2004. Jim was the first person inducted into the Winner High School Hall of Fame in 2012-2013. He was very honored by this special recognition. Jim’s high school varsity record included 513 wins and 196 losses added to his teams non-varsity record basketball teams’ record includes 1,331 wins and 305 losses. His baseball teams won over 1200 wins while losing less than 300.
Jim had 6 loves in his life, besides God, his wife, Linda, his 6 children and 15 grandchildren, basketball, baseball and his shorthorn cattle. Jim had cattle all of his life. The purebred business Jim & Linda started in 1985. He loved to show the shorthorn cattle to anyone. CAL-DAK Shorthorns won the 2001 Get-of-Sire at the South Dakota State Fair. As Jim’s health failed him he still enjoyed going out and looking at the cattle.
Jim first & foremost loved God. He spent much time reading the Bible and praying. He prayed every day for each and every one of his family members and friends. Jim truly believed that through Jesus Christ the Son of God all problems could be solved, all illnesses cured. All you had to do was ask for it.