JAMES "JIM" HAROLD CUSTER\nJames "Jim" Harold Custer, 79, a long time Wickenburg resident died in his home on July 30th.\nJim was born in Phoenix, Arizona on April 23, 1939 to Jack and Gladys Custer. Jim attended and\ngraduated from Prescott High School in 1957.\nIn his early years, Jim was very athletic and was a state finalist, golden gloves boxer, an avid\nhunter, fisherman, and swimmer (having spent many years as a lifeguard at Granite Dells in\nPrescott). While in high school, Jim was a guitar player and singer in bands with such notable\nmusicians as Richie Albright (drummer for Waylon Jennings),\nand Jim Monnett and Bob Baller of the Arizona Outlaws.\nJim then attended Northern Arizona University where he majored in art. During those years, he\nmet his lifelong, best friend, Cal Baird who got him a spot on the NAU rodeo team as a bareback\nand bull rider, and later went on to get his PRCA card. His involvement in rodeo led him and Cal\nto a brief life of stunt work where Jim doubled for Elvis Presley as a bull rider in the movie Stay\nAway Joe, as well as riding bulls in The Rounders with Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford. This also\nled to other stunt and extra work in the movies Distant Trumpet, Junior Bonner, and the\ntelevision series The Monroes.\nRodeo also led Jim to meeting his future wife Dixie Tatum, who was from a longtime Arizona\nrodeo family. They were married in Williams, Arizona in 1965. Soon after, they gave birth to\ntheir first son Cody, who was later followed by Brett, JimBob, and then Connie.\nWhile living in Prescott, Jim worked for a dentist doing crown and bridgework working with\nsilver and gold, which sparked his interest in becoming a silversmith and jewelry maker. Then,\nin 1971, Jim and Dixie partnered with his in-laws, Dick & Virgina, to acquire the Diamond M\nCampground and Rodeo Arena in Flagstaff where they produced several rodeos and team\nroping events. Jim soon became a very competitive, professional team roper.\nJim moved his family to Roseburg, Oregon in 1976 where he worked for the Christiansen\nBrothers Rodeo Company and furthered his rodeo career as a professional team roper. During\nthis time, Jim also learned to engrave, which later led to him and Dixie starting their own trophy\nbuckle company. After a few years, Jim and his family returned to Arizona, living in Kingman for\na year while he was working on the construction of Interstate 40 before finally settling down\nand making their home in Wickenburg in 1979.\nJim, Dixie, and their sons spent many years traveling the rodeo circuit and were actively\ninvolved in all aspects of rodeo. Jim was the National Director of Arizona to the National Board\nof the NHSRA for 12 years. It was in Wickenburg that Jim and Dixie's Championship Trophy\nBuckles business began to flourish having made buckles for many well-known celebrities and\nmusical artists, in addition to providing buckles to top rodeos across the United States.\nIn 1980, Jim was involved in a team roping accident that left him with six broken vertebrates in\nhis neck and paralyzed from the neck down for a period of time. It was a very traumatic and\ntumultuous time for the Custer family. The accident, however, eventually led Jim to get back\ninto his singing, and ultimately led him to music ministry. He had the opportunity to go to\nNashville and record an album with a top producer that had produced albums for the likes of\nJohnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. Jim's musical talents were\nrecognized by the Country Gospel Music Association where he was the recipient of two awards.\nLater in his life, Jim, who was always looking for a new interest and challenge, got into real\nestate and soon became a top-selling realtor in the local Wickenburg area before another\naccident slowed him down, and his health and quality of life began to decline.\nBefore Jim's passing, he was able to travel to Colorado Springs last year to see his son Cody\ninducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, which was a family reunion of sorts celebrating their\nfamily's lifelong journey, sacrifices, and hard work coming to fruition and culminating in a very\nproud moment for all of them.\nAlthough, Jim's physical quality of life was hindered for a good many years, he was blessed with\nnumerous accomplishments, experiences, and relationships that made for a very rich and full\nlife, of which only a glimpse is being shared here. Jim touched many lives in his time on earth\nand he will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and, welcomed in heaven by all those who\nwent before him.\nJim was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Gladys, sons Brett and Danny, daughter\nConnie, and grandson Aaron. He is survived by his wife Dixie of 53 years; daughter Shawna\nCuster of Arizona; sons Cody (Stacey) Custer of Oklahoma; JimBob (Mardi) Custer of\nWashington; brothers Charles (Arlene) Custer of Florida and David (Nancy) Custer of Colorado;\nsix grandchildren: Lacey and Brett Custer; Brittany O'Hair, Paige, Marty, Hailey, Shelby\n(LaCosse), and Imari Custer; and eight great-grandchildren.\nHe is also survived by his nephews and nieces, Bruce, Kylie, Phillip, Steven, Michael, and David;\nhis brother-in-law Danny Tatum, nephew Brett (Keylie) Tatum; sister-in-law Gwendolyn Tatum\nGlattfelder, nieces Brenda Prudham, Donda (Phil) Pothen, Jolonda (Mike) Britain, and nephew\nJD Edwardson.\nA celebration of life service will be held at the Wickenburg Community Center on August 14th at\n11:00 am. Arrangements are being handled by Tracy and Cindy Mattice of Wickenburg Funeral\nHome.\nFor lasting memories of Jim, his music CDs will be available at the service for any donation.