Goodbye Walkin’ Jim

We recieved this notification of the passing of Walkin’ Jim Stoltz:The eulogy that follows was written by Paul Richards and is copywritten by Mr. Richards and cannot be reproduced without Mr. Richards consent. If you would like to read the full eulogy click here.If you would like information about how you can assist with Walkin’ Jim’s medical bills please click here.

Legendary American Folksinger, Backcountry Traveler, and Wilderness Advocate James “Walkin’ Jim” Stoltz Returns to Earth

Legendary American folksinger, backcountry traveler, and wilderness advocate James “Walkin’ Jim” Stoltz passed late Friday night, September 3, 2010, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, Montana.
Stoltz, age 57, a veteran performer for 35 years, earned his nickname “Walkin’ Jim,” by hiking more than 27,000 miles through wild country in North America. Packing a guitar and penning extraordinary lyrics along the trails, Walkin’ Jim’s always-humble-yet-strikingly-powerful songs voiced enormous respect and appreciation for the Earth, its wild places, and the wild critters that he carefully studied and truly adored. A one-of-a-kind performer known for his powerful baritone timbre, stunning photography, humorous and elucidative stories, inspirational poetry, literally awesome lyrics, and emotion-packed vocals, Walkin’ Jim Stoltz toured extensively throughout North America for more than 35 years. His last public performance in Montana, where he lived, was on March 6, 2010, in Missoula, where he played a benefit concert and celebration for the Last, Best Place Wildlands Campaign and Wilderness Watch.

In addition to being a co-founder of the Last, Best Place Wildlands Campaign, Walkin’ Jim Stoltz co-founded Musicians United to Sustain the Environment (MUSE). In 2006, he organized a 45-state outreach tour with other musicians and authors, and worked with hundreds of community organizations to support clean water and to protect all public roadless wildlands and their dependent wildlife species. In tribute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored Stoltz with its “Outstanding Achievement Award” for his advocacy for nature and Wilderness across America.

Walkin’ Jim Stoltz was featured on folk shows and syndicated programs throughout North America, including National Public Radio in the United States and CBC/Radio-Canada.

To converse and share stories with Walkin’ Jim Stoltz’s friends, family, and fans, go to: or:

Personal Note About A Dear, Dear Friend:

Walkin’ Jim’s life was his ministry. Jim walked the talk and he certainly walked the walk!

Jim consistently lived his life with grace and kindness. Jim reached so many people with his wonderfully creative, courageous, positive, gracious and loving energy! Watching him enthrall elementary school kids about with his stories, tall tales, and intimate knowledge about Wild country and its wild inhabitants is an experience never to be forgotten.

Walkin’ Jim will always be a vital wellspring for humans trying their best to live in symbiosis with Earth. Although we may feel pain with Walkin’ Jim’s passing, his legacy—already pure and luminous—will only grow more compelling, as subsequent generations take up Walkin’ Jim’s vocation and become vigorous spokespersons, musicians, poets, writers, lyricists, guitar players, harmonica players, and singers for our pubic roadless wildlands and Wilderness.

Walkin’ Jim Stoltz will always remain our steadfast and true friend. We hold dear so many treasured memories from our time spent with Walkin’ Jim! His sincere, bone-crushing hugs will be forever felt. Our hearts will be continually warmed, every time we experience the Wild that Jim so loved, every time we defend our priceless public wildlands legacy to which Jim devoted his life, every time we ponder Jim’s brilliant poetry and lyrics, every time we hum or sing Jim’s catchy tunes, and every time we again listen to his marvelous voice and heartfelt songs.

Health Complications and Resultant Medical Expenses:
Walkin’ Jim Stoltz had a successful kidney transplant, donated by John Giacalone, on March 16, 2004. In the fall of 2007, Walkin’ Jim learned that he had cancer in his tonsil chords and lymph nodes of his neck. Jim underwent surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The winter of 2007-2008 was a tough one, as expenses piled up and medical bills consumed most of Jim’s financial resources.

In the summer of 2008, with his characteristic indomitability, Walkin’ Jim underwent his own self-prescribed “Wilderness Therapy” and walked 460 miles through the mountains of Idaho and Montana. In 2009, Jim walked an incredible 500-mile loop through the remote mountain ranges of eastern Nevada.

In 2009 and early 2010, Walkin’ Jim toured unwaveringly with his ever-popular “Forever Wild” show, combining live music, story-telling, and poetry with stunning, multi-image slideshows to create a stirring celebration of the natural world.

Photos, taken by Janet Zimmerman and others, from Walkin’ Jim’s March 6, 2010, benefit concert and celebration in Missoula, Montana, for the Last, Best Place Wildlands Campaign and Wilderness Watch are available upon request.

Walkin’ Jim’s aplomb was such that most of those attending his final Montana concert were unaware of his throat cancer, ensuing surgery, and extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

After Walkin’ Jim returned from his spring 2010 concert tour, doctors in Seattle and Billings found that his cancer has spread. Jim’s bills for hospitals, doctors, tests, high-cost pharmaceuticals, and medical-related travel grew exponentially.

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