Jim Fugate, 89, passed away peacefully at home, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, after a short battle with cancer. Jim was married to Bessie Mae Fugate (Stoker) for 67 years, she preceded him in death, December 22, 2018, she was 86. Jim leaves behind his daughter, Debbie Miller and husband Brad; his son, Hunter Fugate and wife Geri; grandchildren, April Miller, Jordan and Tina Fugate, Jenna and Kyle Edds, Jake and Katelynn Miller; and great grandchildren, Emilio Contreras, Macy Munoz, Mason Austin, Natalie and Oscar Fugate and Finley Edds. Paisley Mae Miller is due to arrive in August.
Jim was born in Welch, Oklahoma, March 20, 1931, to Emmett and Era Fugate, the oldest child, big brother to Pearl. When Jim was a senior in high school, the Fugate family moved to Overland Park, Kansas where he graduated and went to work for Hyer Boot Company. Jim and Bessie were married March 22, 1951. He worked for Sutherlands before he joined the army and served for two years in the Korean war. When he returned, he trained horses for Bob Sutherland. Later he moved to Hamilton, Kansas where he managed the Johnson Ranch for Buster Wheat, nine years. Jim and family then moved to Reading, Kansas and he went to work for Ed Barrett and Ronnie Hughes at the Flint Hills Feedlot.
J.D. Miller asked Jim to partner with him and start a western store and in 1975 Jim’s Cowboy Shop was created. Jim and Bessie co-owned and operated the western store and boot repair for 40 years. During that time, he was known for his excellent skills working on boots and could fix about anything brought in for repair. Following retirement, you could still find Jim behind the counter at Jim’s Cowboy Shop, he always liked working on a good pair of boots. Jim was also known for his patience and had skills outside of the western store, he was always willing to lend a hand, teach you how to do something or give some advice. During his life one of Jim’s greatest enjoyments was training horses and he competed in area cutting horse competitions, winning the Kansas state cutting horse championship in the late sixties. Many of Jim’s grandchildren were participants in 4H and rodeo and he frequently helped them with practice, giving tips from his lifetime of experience in horsemanship.
Jim supported 4-H, Kansas High School Rodeo, the Lyon County Fair, Flint Hills Beef Fest, and the Flint Hills Rodeo in Strong City. He and Bessie enjoyed going to all these events over the years. They loved music and frequently attended live in the lot music and concerts at the Granada Theatre. Jim was there to support his family in all they did, a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who will be greatly missed. A celebration of life is being planned for a later date. To honor Jim’s lifelong interest in horses and support of area youth activities, memorial contributions can be made to Rawhide Wrangler 4-H Horse Club (Lyon Co Youth), or Eagle Creek Saddle Club of Olpe.