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Belfast --- James Afton Mountain of South Main Street, Belfast, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Dec. 21, 2023. Jim was born February 15, 1934, in Olean at the Mountain Clinic to the late Margaret Swift and Edward Mountain. Jim was raised on a farm in Rushford and was a graduate of Rushford Central School class of 1952.
Jim lived most of his life in Belfast with his wife Mary Burr Mountain and his eight children. Jim was employed as an electrician by Acme Electric and electronics technician at Dresser Rand Inc., retiring from Dresser Rand. Jim was a member of the Belfast Fire Department and was instrumental in the annual Firemen’s 4th of July celebration. He was a member of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, working for many years at the Lawn Fete and chicken barbecues. He was also a councilman for the Town of Belfast.
Jim played for town team baseball for Rushford for many years and a manager/player for the Belfast Legion town team in the Alle-Catt League. He also coached Little League baseball in Belfast for many years.
Jim enjoyed farming, raising cows and growing and selling sweet corn. Many of Belfast’s residents can recall enjoying Jim Mountain’s sweet corn in the late summer, “36 years of Mountain Ears” was a slogan used one of his last years of sales. He also enjoyed gardening and growing and selling Christmas trees, planting 10,000 trees over the years and enjoyed making his famous hard cider.
Jim was an avid hunter and trapper. Jim enjoyed the camaraderie that came from hunting with family and friends. He took his hunting very seriously and would often take the time to teach his children, grandchildren, and nephews the art of hunting. Jim also enjoyed trapping. He took second place in a New York State fox trapping competition in the early 1950s, earning a silver dollar for each fox he trapped. He trapped forty-four red foxes for that competition and won a .22 rifle. Jim also took part in and won many turkey shoots over the years.
Jim was a character. Anyone who knew him had a story of the infamous Jim Mountain. Jim enjoyed life to the fullest. He especially enjoyed country music and Genesee Cream Ale in his early years. Jim was a legend in his own time and his children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews all have good memories and stories of Big Jim.
Surviving besides his wife Mary of seventy years are his children, Patty (Randy) Granger of Cheektowaga, Jimmy (Kathy) Mountain of Liverpool, Cindy (Steve Fox) Preston of Caneadea, Christy (Joe) Zajicek of Wellsville, Michael (Tammy) Mountain of Land O’ Lakes, FL, Theresa (Randy) Ellison of Belfast, Andy (Sueann Groves) Mountain of Angelica, and Liz (Jason) Hamer of Belfast. Also surviving are his 27 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren, two brothers, Robert Mountain of Bolivar, William (BettyJo) Mountain of Summerfield, FL and many nieces and nephews.
Along with his parents, Jim was predeceased a grandchild, baby Drew Christopher Mountain, his sisters Jeanne Mountain and Mary Jane McCumiskey, and his brothers Tom Mountain, David Mountain, and Donnie Mountain.
Family and friends may gather from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Thursday, December 28, 2023, at the Kopler-Williams Funeral Home, 21 N Genesee Street, Fillmore where the rosary will be recited at 7:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, December 29, 2023, at 11:00 am in St. Patrick’s Church, Belfast. Fr. John Cullen will be celebrant. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Belfast.