CHEYENNE – James A. Foreman, age 105, died Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at the Davis Hospice Center in Cheyenne. His death was due to complications resulting from injuries sustained in a fall outside his apartment at the Primrose Retirement Community on May 8th.
Jim Foreman was believed to be the oldest living native of Platte County, Wyoming. He was born July 22, 1915 in Guernsey, Wyoming, the only child of J.E. “Ed” Foreman and Teco K. Foreman. His parents had settled in Guernsey in 1914, where his father managed the meat market at the Guernsey Mercantile General Store.
Jim Foreman, known as Jamie during his boyhood, grew up in the rough North Platte River ranching and mining community in the 1920’s. He delivered groceries and dry goods for the Guernsey Mercantile Store in a Model T Ford. He also worked summers as a ranch hand for the Frederick Ranch herding sheep and cattle along the Oregon Trail near Register Cliff, often living in a sheep wagon. He found sport in swimming his horse across the swift North Platte River. Severe Depression conditions forced his family to leave Guernsey in 1929. They moved to Everett, Washington.
In 1931 the Foreman family returned to Wyoming settling in Cheyenne. Jim Foreman attended Cheyenne High School graduating in 1934. He then attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie from the Fall of 1934 until 1937, and was a student in the Business Department. He was active in Army ROTC and Sigma Nu Fraternity. He was the longest living member of the 2000 initiates of the UW Sigma Nu Chapter in its 101-year history.
While attending UW, Foreman met and married Elizabeth “Betty” Burrage of Laramie. Following college, the couple moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where they operated a gas station and refreshment stand on the Ft. Lauderdale beach. While in Florida, a daughter, Mary Louise, was born. In 1939, the young Foreman Family returned to Wheatland, Wyoming, where Foreman worked at the Wheatland Lumber Company. In 1940 they moved to Cheyenne where Jim Foreman has resided ever since. During their married life in Cheyenne, Jim and Betty Foreman had two sons.
In Cheyenne, Jim Foreman first worked as an accountant at the Wyoming Liquor Commission and then as business office manager for Chief Oil Company, the local Mobil Oil Products distributor. In 1945 Foreman went to work for Walton Motor Company, the local Ford dealer, as its business manager. In 1960, Foreman and E.H. Krumm became owners of the Ford Dealership which they continued to operate until Krumm’s death in 1975, following which Jim sold the business to Fassett Nickel Ford, predecessor to today’s Spradley Barr Motors. Jim was active in the Laramie County Auto Trades Association and the Wyoming Automobile Dealers Association. He was a past president of both organizations.
Jim Foreman joined the Cheyenne Rotary Club in 1942 and knew a majority of the club’s 1918 Charter Members. He worked on many club and district committees and served as Cheyenne Club President in 1960-61. Unable to participate in club activities, Jim resigned from Rotary at the age of 100 in 2015. His 73 year Rotary membership is a record in the Cheyenne Club, and likely in the District.
Jim Foreman was involved in a number of Cheyenne civic activities. He served as a director of the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, and as a board member of the Salvation Army Board of Advisors, Goodwill Industries of Wyoming, the UW College of Business Board of Advisors, and was treasurer of Credit Bureau Services of Wyoming for 25 years. He was a member of the Capital Campaign Board for the building of DePaul Hospital.
Jim and Betty Foreman were charter members of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Cheyenne when it was established in the 1940’s. Jim maintained this affiliation the remainder of his life. He served on the Church’s Vestry for several years.
From his boyhood until his mid 90’s Jim was an avid waterfowl hunter and fly fisherman pursuing these sports on the streams and rivers of southeast Wyoming and western Nebraska. He played cribbage regularly nearly all of his life. He was a member of “the Liars” cribbage club which met in the late afternoons at ever changing locations around Cheyenne. Jim enjoyed ballroom dancing and participated in many dance groups following retirement. He was masterful at the waltz and numerous Latin dances. He became proficient at the Tango at the age of 90. Jim had a passion for exercise, especially walking. He continued multiple short daily walks the entire time he lived at Primrose Retirement Community.
In 2000, Jim Foreman, and son Dave, acquired a northern Platte County cattle ranch which had been established and operated by close family friends since the 1880’s. Jim very much enjoyed participating in the ranch’s operation and managing its finances.
Jim Foreman liked to drive automobiles and was a very good driver. He drove without incident from age 12 to age 102, at first a model T Ford and at the last his Buick Lacrosse, with many Fords in between.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Betty of 56 years, his daughter Mary Lou Peck, and a son James B. Foreman.
He is survived by his son Dave Foreman of Cheyenne and Glendo, grandson Jim Peck of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, grandson Rob Peck of Richmond, Virginia and three great grandchildren. He is also survived by his companion, favorite dance partner, personal pastry chef, and formidable cribbage opponent of 27 years, Marless Gomez of Cheyenne.
Jim Foreman will be remembered for his active Wyoming life which spanned eleven decades, for his impeccable integrity, for his genuinely cheerful and positive personality, and for his truly gentlemanly manner.