Obituary: James Russell Waddell

June 2, 1974 - October 19, 2023
James Russell Waddell
June 2, 1974 - October 19, 2023
Posted at 3:43 PM, Oct 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-30 18:05:27-04

James Russell Waddell of Great Falls, MT passed away in his sleep on October 19, 2023, at the age of 49. James was born on June 2, 1974, in Charleston SC, to Susan and Russell Waddell. In 1976, he became an older brother, and loved every minute of it. He welcomed additional siblings into the family with open arms, smiles, and such pride every two years thereafter to 1984.

James, from an early stage in life, found a love for music from his mother who would sing to him, play the piano in his presence, and show him how song lyrics could speak to the heart, mind, and soul of a person. He spent countless hours learning about music, playing music on the piano, and listening to all his favorite artists, such as Amy Grant. He started writing music from an early age expressing his feelings around love, friendship, loss, pain, family, and spirituality. His love for music drove him ever forward. Life was a production in need of a soundtrack, and his heart was full of lyrics and melody.

James graduated from high school in 1992 and had a successful career in the food industry for many years as a waiter. Early on in his career, he was put in management roles as he was organized, dependent, and able to train others with the patience of a saint. People who had the opportunity to work with James often raved about his humor, kindness, and ability to remember everything when taking an order. He made genuine connections with many of his friends through his work at Mama Cassie’s, McKenzie River, Big Mouth BBQ, Dante’s, 3-D International, and Rikki’s. His physical disabilities would end this career.

The last several years, James put all his love that he had in his heart towards his dog, Pocket. Pocket was what many of us feel kept him on earth after he became so ill. He would often dress Pocket up, and he took him everywhere he went. He shared that it helped him to have the unconditional love of a dog to keep him company. Pocket was with him when he passed, and he was adopted by one of his friends.

James is survived by his mother and father, Susan and Russell Waddell; his siblings, Scott (Tammy) Waddell, Joseph Waddell, April (David) Grosse, Autumn (Seth) Beattie, and Stanley (Katie) Waddell; three nieces, Piper, Remedy and Jemimah; and six nephews, Houston, Jude, Oliver, Phin, Quigley, and Isaac.

To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.