James (Jim) E. Paben passed away peacefully at home Jan. 11, 2022. He was born in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on Oct. 6, 1941, to Joseph and Mary Antonia (Tony) Paben.
Jim grew up in Mitchell, Nebraska, with five siblings. In 1959, he graduated from Mitchell High School. Jim worked in the oil fields from the Canadian border to Mexico. He worked various positions throughout his life. Even after he retired, he returned to the oil fields as a consultant until 2018.
While living in Thermopolis, he adopted his sons, Loren and Clayton, in 1964. In 1986, Jim met Charlene and her two children, Lisa and Michael. She became the love of his life and they married in 1987.
Jim always enjoyed time in the mountains with his horses along with time with his family. He fished and hunted every chance he had. In every place he went there was a story that he loved to share. The majority of the time his stories included horses, great friends and maybe a CLC. While living in Lovell, Jim was blessed to meet his two grandchildren, Tharen Allen and Mackenzie. They were the light of his life. He loved every chance to teach them to drive the tractor, fish, hunt, how to fix stuff and especially riding horses. Over time Jim was blessed with two more grandchilden, David, and Alexia. Over the last year Jim’s biggest light was his great-grandson, Carson.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Joseph, his mother, Tony, his sister Judy Paben, and his brothers, Jerry and Tom Paben.
He leaves behind his wife, Charlene Paben (Liner); children, Loren Paben, Clayton Paben, Lisa Stearns, and Michael Stearns (Jennifer); grandchildren, Tharen Allen (Elisa Ramos) Paben, Mackenzie Stearns, Alexia Burgess, David Stearns, and Ryan Stearns; great-grandchildren, Carson, Aria, sister, Phyllis (George, deceased) Woodard; brother John (Lucy) Paben, sister-in-law Maryann Paben; along with nieces, nephews and many great friends.
Services will be held at Thompson Funeral Home, on Jan. 15, 2022, at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow at The Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Powell.
In lieu of flowers Jim would like donations to be sent to Cody Regional Cancer Center.