They called him the Montana Hairbag, and during the 1970s, he was a fixture on the deck by the old Golden Peak Ski School office. Jim Jarolimek had spent his winters away from his Montana home building and with his daughter and son-in-law, Patty and Bob Dorf. While in Vail, Jim worked at the Golden Peak Rental Shop and was an on-call instructor for the Vail Ski School. He had taught skiing at Red Lodge, Montana, and Stevens Pass, Washington, and was quoted as saying that what he really liked was watching pretty girls and playing the concertina.
Having grown up in a musical family, Jim played the saxophone, clarinet, tenor banjo, the concertina, and could manage on almost any instrument handed to him. After giving up playing in his four-piece band in Montana, Jim concentrated his skills by playing in local rest homes in Montana, the Vail Valley and eventually in his last home town of Grand Junction, where he retired with his late wife, Jackie,in 1994.
Known for his abilities as a builder and precision carpenter, Jim was hired to reconstruct historical buildings and refurbish them to the extent that they could function again as restaurants. His handiwork spans the area from Montana to New Mexico and includes the Montauk Restaurant in Lionshead.
Jim passed away at his home in Grand Junction on March 6. He is survived by his daughter, Patty Dorf (Bob), Vail and Grand Junction; daughter-in-law Janis Crosmer (Dave) of Billings, Montana; grandson Dr. Erik Dorf (Sue), of Vail; granddaughters Heather Dorf Rawlings (Michael), of Eagle, and Sara Bevington (Chris), of Seattle; and great-grandchildren Porter and Jensen Rawlings, Mack and Annabel Dorf and Bianca James Bevington.
A celebration of life will be held for Jim in Grand Junction at 4 p.m. July 14 at the Callahan-Edfast Mortuary, followed by a reception at the family home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the FIRS program, Colorado Mesa University Foundation, Grand Junction, CO 81501.