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James Louis Messerly

December 20, 1975 ~ July 3, 2023 (age 47) 47 Years Old


Our beloved James “Cricket” Louis Messerly went to be with his lord and savior on July 3, 2023, due to complications from a brief illness at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings Montana. 

James was born to Nellie Messerly on December 20, 1975, in Philadelphia Mississippi.  Shortly after his birth, he received his nickname “Cricket” from his cousin Rooster Davis and that is what his loved ones knew him by for the rest of his life. James earlier years were spent at his grandparents, Louis “Boom” and Amy Messerly’s ranch in Brookside Montana, who adopted Cricket although his mother Nellie continued to raise him. He also spent his earlier years at his Grandma Alice Bear Cloud and Grandma Sadie and Grandpa Joe Mountain Pocket residence in Dunmore Montana. He was the first grandchild of Alice Bear Cloud and was loved and adored dearly. The time he spent at Crow Agency, his grandmothers spoke Crow to him in which he could understand the Crow language and he could speak some Crow words as well. 

James began his schooling in Lodgepole Montana. He also went to school in Billings Montana for some time and later returned to Hays Lodgepole where he graduated 8th grade. He began high school at Hardin High School and graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1994. After graduating, James was accepted in an apprenticeship program with LH Sowles Iron Workers. In 1998, James moved to Cherokee North Carolina where he met Deanna Jackson. From this union, his first child was born, his baby girl, Lauren Shade Messerly. Lauren was his first true love, and he lovingly reminded her of this often. Soon after, they welcomed his first-born son whom he loved dearly, Landen Isaiah Messerly. James worked at the Harrah’s casino in Cherokee North Carolina. James returned to Billings Montana and at this time he began working for Western Sugar where he held many positions. James then met Kimberly Naillon and from this union, he had three additional sons who he also loved dearly, Dallas James, Jayden Cruz, Ryan James. James also took Kimberly’s son, Darren Blake as his own child and loved him dearly as well. James attended college at Salish Kootenai College in Polson, Montana, where he received his heavy equipment operator certification and worked at Bureau of Indian Affairs Roads Construction. He held numerous jobs as an equipment operator as well. He was most recently employed at Island Mountain Development Corporation as a maintenance worker. 

James had a carefree loving personality and could make any of laugh no matter the circumstances. He never spoke ill of anyone and made friends everywhere he went. He loved to dance, including the worm which was his signature move when he would have dance-offs, make up songs about his family, and loved to tease and laugh even if it was at his own expense. James held his mother’s heart in his hands. From the day he was born, she loved and adored him so much and there wasn’t anything she would not do for him. 

James was proceeded in death by his father Darrell Bear Cloud, Grandparents Boom Messerly, Amy Horseman, Alice Bear Cloud, and uncle Arvid Messerly, and aunts Dana Birdinground and Marilyn Dumont and uncles Clayton Mountain Pocket, Albert Birdinground, Dan Dumont, sister LaFonda Big Leggings, Cousins Rooster Davis and Desirae Dumont.  

James is survived by his daughter, Lauren Shade Messerly, and son Landen Isaiah Messerly of North Carolina, his sons Dallas James, Jayden Cruz, Ryan James, and Darren Blake Naillon of Billings Montana, and his only granddaughter Ilah Gray Crowe of Cherokee North Carolina, whom he loved and adored so much. His mother Nellie Messerly Bear Cloud, sisters Jamie (who he affectionately always called Hubba or Hubs) and her husband and only Brother-in-law Buddy Ereaux, Alexis Bear Cloud, Lou Ann Mason; brothers Zackary Bear Cloud, Dominic (Stella), Jeremy Messerly and Oshon Old Elk. He was very special to his nephew and nieces, and they were very special to him. His nephews Dathan, Terrance, Thomas; nieces Aiyana (Devin), Isabella, and Kiera, Winter, Summer, and Kailani. His special great nephew, Hezekiah. His uncle Larry (Heather) Bear Cloud, aunts Christina (Bernard) Bear Cloud, Billie Jo Norcutt, and Linda Kinsey. His maternal uncles, Louis “Chief” Messerly, Mark Messerly, and maternal aunts, Ann (Rick) BirdinGround, Kathy (William) Davis, Cora (Dave) Davis, and Mayme (John) Messerly who were all considered his siblings due to his grandparents adopting him. His aunt Marlene Stiffarm, and uncle Bobby Ball. His special aunts, Suzie Tillman and Lorraine Brockie, and his special aunts and uncles Gordon and Susan Messerly, and Paul and Evangeline Pryor. Cricket had many cousins, and although every single one was special to him, he had a close relationship with following ones; Diane, Willis, Kayla, Kolby, CJ, Sadie, Nellene, Tylynn, Amy, Denise, Brandi, and Crystal (Darwin), Mikkel, Hunter, Seth, and River. Please accept our apology if we missed anyone, we know that Cricket was loved by many. Cricket will forever be loved and missed by his family and friends. Until we meet again, we love you always…

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July 9, 2023

7:00 PM
780 Old Horn Road
Dunmore, MT 59022

Funeral Service
July 10, 2023

11:00 AM
Bullis Mortuary

Interment following funeral service
July 10, 2023

Mountview Cemetery
1704 Central Ave
Billings, MT 59102


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