Amy Susan James was born June 7, 1976, in Sheridan, Montana, to Jean (Tilton) James and Robert A. (Sandy) James. She grew up on the family ranch in Horse Prairie Valley with her siblings, Corby and Owen James. She married Bradley Jon Kadrmas in 1997, and the couple had two children, Isabella Jean, 22, and Daniel Jon, 17. Amy loved her family and being a wife and mother.
After graduating from Beaverhead County High School, Amy auditioned and was accepted into Up With People, an international touring musical group with a strong community service focus. As one of the first members of the Dillon Junior Fiddlers, directed by her parents, Amy traveled to Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, in 1990 to play and sing with her family at a national farm festival. The next year she returned to Japan with the Dillon Junior Fiddlers, representing the United States at the Kumamoto International Youth Music Festival
Amy graduated from the University of Montana Western with a degree in K through 12 art education, and with Brad subsequently taught in Fernley and Fallon, Nevada. She enjoyed particular success in teaching at an alternative high school in Fallon.
Amy was a past winner of the Montana State Fiddle Contest, adult division, and played for many years with a group for Victorian-era reenactment grand balls.
Amy leaves behind her family, uncle Bill James, aunts Julie James, Kate (James) Kajin, and Susie (Tilton) Chiovaro, as well as many cousins, young people she mentored, and close friends whom she dearly loved.
A celebration of Amy’s life will be held later this summer. Memorials may be made in her name to the Dillon Friends of Music, Dillon Junior Fiddlers, the Montana State Old Time Fiddlers Association, or the Beaverhead County Animal Shelter, where she adopted several dogs that delighted her life.