Jamie Lee LaValley died June 19, 2020, at University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City of complications from a brain aneurysm. She was 58. Celebrations of Life will be scheduled later this summer in Gillette, Wyo., and in Cut Bank, Mont.
She was born March 12, 1962, in Great Falls, Mont. to James and Carole LaValley. She is a graduate of C.M. Russell High School and studied journalism at the University of Montana.
In 1981, she moved to Tonopah, Nev. where she worked for Atlantic Richfield Co. She moved to Wright in 1984 and later to Gillette. She worked briefly for Thunder Basin Coal Co., before taking a job with Peabody Powder River Services. She worked at Rochelle Coal Co. and later at North Antelope Rochelle Mine. She retired in 2018.
She worked in the coal mines as a haul truck driver, road grader and bull dozer operator, as well as training new hires. From July 2011 to July 2019, she served on the Wyoming Miners’ Hospital Board.
Road trips and traveling with friends was one of her greatest joys – shopping, singing and stopping along the roadways for dance breaks. She loved fresh flowers, mimosas and her constant companions: Jake, Riley and LeRoy.
James Lee Burke was her favorite author. Her taste in music was eclectic. British humor and television shows with sarcasm and a flair for fashion were among her favorites.
A true advocate of the arts, every wall of her home is filled with art from a wide variety of genres. She loved attending art exhibits and annually attending Western Art Week and the C.M. Russell Art Show and Sale with her mother.
She served two terms on The Mayor’s Art Council from 2011 to 2017, serving as a member, vice president and president. She once said since she didn’t have children, the Avenues of Art would be her legacy.
Jamie will be remembered for her quick, biting wit; her generosity; and her ability to always listen to those she spoke with as if there were no one else in the room.
She is survived by her mother, Carole LaValley of Black Eagle, Mont.; her father and stepmother, James and Vicky LaValley of Great Falls, Mont.; brothers Mark LaValley of Black Eagle and Rich LaValley of Reno, Nev.; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Jamie was preceded in death by her grandparents Lawrence Pierre and Agnes Ebert, Mark LaValley, and Alice Polk.
In lieu of flowers, buy a piece of local art or donate to your local Humane Society.