James Emery

James David Emery, 64, of Belle Fourche, passed away May 3, 2022 at his home in Belle Fourche, SD surrounded by his girls.

He was born August 6, 1957, in Belle Fourche to Charles and Leota (Henwood) Emery. He graduated from Belle Fourche High School in 1975. Jim had many jobs in the tri-state area. He was the best gravy maker at the Port Café. He farmed for the Keil family, held various jobs driving truck, operating heavy equipment for construction and mining, driving over the road and ranching. He then started Emery Backhoe Service, later he was the Director of Public Waterworks for the city. Jim started Sandstone Water Company supplying water to residents of rural Belle Fourche south and west of town.

Jim married Jan Murphy in 1986, they divorced in 1996. With this marriage came a 12-year-old daughter, Shannon. He then made a life with Tabi Dungey from 1997 to 2013. Two more daughters, Kayla and Tori came with this relationship.

He was a member of the Moose Lodge. Jim loved following the High School wrestling team, often driving the bus. He was a long time Soccer Dad, looking forward to being a Soccer Grandpa. Never did he turn down a chance to play cards with the guys. Jim played Santa starting in the early 90’s and continuing until his kidney transplant. He had the reindeer, a beautiful, lush red suit sharing the Santa experience with area children in Story Book Island for several years. He set up teleconferences with Children’s Hospitals and schools around the globe. Jim was very involved with the Black Hills Roundup and High School Rodeos. He drove his team in the parade hauling various dignitaries and maintained the arenas.   Wagon trains were a large part of his summers. Traveling with the family around the Black Hills and Badlands participating in trains from Medora, ND; Ft. Pierre, SD; and Sidney, NE to name a few.

Survivors include his Mother Leota Emery; siblings, Laurie (Jim) Hamilton, Cheryl Miller and Kenny (Lori) Emery; children, Shannon (Shane) Croft, Kayla Trudo and Tori Dungey; six grandchildren, Shalayna Croft, Shyan (Jesse) Hendrickson, Shari Croft, Landon Tate, Morgan Tate and Aria Alvear; three great-grandchildren, Jerry Lee Hendrickson, Madalynn Gries, and Josiphine Westman.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, Charles Emery; sister, Sharon Harrelson; brother-in-law, Gerald Miller; and great-niece, Shelby Sturtevant.  As well as, several cousins, aunts, uncles, and his grandparents.

Visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday May 6th, at the Kline Funeral Chapel in Belle Fourche, SD.

Services will be at 1:00 PM on Saturday, May 7th, at the Christian Life Center, with Pastor Paul Howard officiating. Burial will be at Pine Slope Cemetery in Belle Fourche. A reception will follow at the Brandin’ Iron south of town.

Pallbearers will include Merlin Porterfield, John Pierce, Neal McCoy, Jim McCoy, Scott Gross, Steve Gross, and the team will be driven by Scott Porterfield.

In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established.

The funeral will be published for viewing at live streaming site following the funeral.

An online guest book is available at