James Richard Harl
October 10, 1952
April 10, 2021
James Richard Harl was called home by God on April 10, 2021 on a beautiful sunny spring day, while riding his favorite Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Jim was born October 10, 1952 to Charles Rex and Norma Lee (Baughman) Harl in Bloomfield, Iowa. He soon began his life love of cattle and following in the footsteps of his dad in a career in the cattle industry. Jim was remarkably knowledgeable and very good at his job within the cattle industry.
Jim graduated from David County High School in Bloomfield, Iowa in 1971. He moved to Brenham, Texas to begin working for the Wackman family at Windy Acres Brangus Ranch. Machelle, his daughter came to live with Jim in Texas. Shortly after he met Patti Budell, they married on January 6, 1981. Jim and Patti became parents to two boys, James Hastings and John Harrison; keeping a little Nebraska in his life through their names.
Patti and Jim did make one go at living in Nebraska in September of 1982 but the snow of that first winter soon convinced them Texas was where home would be for their family. Harrison was born after they returned to Windy Acres. Hastings and Harrison learned the love of cattle. Hastings showed his heifer at the Houston Livestock Show and was also pictured on the cover of Brangus Journal Magazine winning the Frog and Churn award in Wichita, Kansas which made Jim so very proud. Jim’s nephew, Matt showed one of Jim’s prize steer from Windy Acres Ranch at the Washington County Fair but was not able to win after Skyscraper pulled Matt around the ring like he was sand skiing. Jim loved teaching the boys about ranching. Even the hard parts like fixing fence, breaking water trough ice in the winter, birthing babies, fixing broken equipment, mowing, hay cutting, raking and baling.
Jim left Windy Acres and tried his hand at metal building construction at Central Texas Construction. But the love of the cattle industry pulled him back in and he began working at the Camp Cooley Ranch in Franklin, Texas. The boys and Cousin Matt loved spending summers working at Camp Cooley.
Jim eventually moved to Colorado as ranch cow manager for Magness Land & Cattle Co. where he remained until his retirement. He maintained a friendly relationship with Patti, his boys and Harrison’s two boys spending the holidays and summer vacation together. With Colorado as the home base, they took various fun state park trips with Yellowstone as the favorite for all. Jim would come to Texas for family events and even rode his Harley all the way while enjoying the scenery.
He made the decision to retire in 2020 and return to Texas to be closer to the boys and grandsons. He made the move in October and joined Hasting and Harrison in their home next door to Patti. Jim was thrilled to be able to spend more time with Ty and Treage. Treage said he would miss Papa Jim picking them up and taking them to Sonic after school for a treat. Jim’s favorite family pastime was flying his drone, making cookies, winning over the trust of Tig (aka Red Dog) along with Tess Ann and especially playing games with the grandkids. He rode his bicycle and was often joined by the grandsons and their cousin Gage who rode theirs with him around the neighborhood. It was a sight to see. He helped Ty and Treage with homework and often noted how smart they both were. He was very proud of them. Jim was always out in the garage “fixin” something and tinkering with this and that to the delight of Hastings and Harrisons’ and to the benefit of Patti when he fixed stuff for her. He called her Maude and she called him Fred. Jim once commented it was sad we have to learn to appreciate the good things in life at such an old age.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents Charles Rex and Norma Lee (Baughman) Harl, grandparents Jim and Mary Harl, Harlan and Florence Baughman, father and mother-in-law, Milton and Jerry Budell, brother-in-law Larry Schulz.
He is survived by sons Hasting and Harrison Harl, daughter Machelle Croft, granddaughter Loren Bohi, grandsons Corbin Marschake, Eathan Larson, Ty and Treage Harl and his dear friend Maude. He leaves behind his siblings, Peggy Ezell of Omaha, Nebraska; Luann (Larry) McCane of Jerseyville, Illinois; and Tracy Harl of Wellington, Colorado; sister-in-law Jody Schulz and Jodie Budell, brother-in-law Darrell Budell all of Brenham and multiple nieces and nephews, and friends.
A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held Friday, May 7th at Brenham Memorial Chapel at 2300 Stringer Street Brenham, Texas from 4-7pm. At a later date interment of his ashes will be next to his parents in Pulaski, Iowa after his last motorcycle ride with his sons.
Donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation or a Charity of your choice.