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Jim died November 21, 2021, in Washington, Utah. He was born December 20, 1936, in Kuna, Idaho. He graduated from the University of Idaho. From his brother: “Jim grew up on the farm learning how to take care of Dad and Mom’s herd of pure-bred milking shorthorns, pigs, chickens, and the family dog. Mom often told me that unless I ate all my oatmeal like Jim did, Jim would be bigger than me and that is exactly what happened. Jim went to high school at Kuna, Idaho. Jim was a “tall man on campus” because he got good grades; had lots of close and loyal friends; lettered in baseball and football; tumbling and jumping from the rafters of the school gym onto a trampoline for the half-time entertainment at the basketball games. Jim played center on the Kuna Kaveman football team and called most of the plays. He served in the Army for two years. “Jim graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in accounting. He worked for the Flying Tiger Airlines and was a crew member on a ship that sailed for four or more months through the South Seas. Jim worked as a Certified public Accountant for Pete Marwick Mitchell in HA, Controller Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, Controller Dominican Hospital Santa Cruz, and Carmel Area Wastewater District. “A turning point in Jim’s life was when he met and married Nancy Tennie. Jim had just been in a car accident near his home in the bay area just before he was to be married. He received serious injuries to his jaw and head. He did not under any circumstances want to postpone his wedding date. He signed himself out of the hospital where he was the controller and flew to Wisconsin to present himself with a wired shut mouth and yellow/black bruises on his head. He said, ‘I do through clenched teeth. Frankly, he was a sorry looking groom.” Jim jumped at Redding 1957-60 and at Redmond 1964. He was part of the first smokejumper crew when the Redding Base started in 1957.



Publication Date

January 2023


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Kloepfer, James Ramon