The Archives of Falconry Legacy Circle, North American Falconers
Jim was born on December 11, 1931 in Springville, Utah to
Arthur Heber Cranmer and Ila Lucille Burr Cranmer. He
was the older of the couples’ two children. Since their father
worked in highway construction, Jim and his sister, Geraldine
Cranmer Russell, grew up in several towns in Utah.
Jim was an excellent student. He played the flute in orchestra
and marching band and he loved to read. In 1949, he
graduated from Springville High School and then attended
the University of Utah in Salt Lake City before joining the
army in January 1951. While serving in the army, Jims most
significant assignment was with the 503rd Airborne Infantry
Regiment where he earned the Parachute Badge, the National
Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Service
Medal. Additionally, during his service, Jim was witness to the
detonation of the atomic bomb in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Following his honorable discharge from the army in January
of 1954, Jim returned to his studies at the University of Utah
and it was there that Jim met his wife, Nancy Jean Brinker,
who was his English tutor. Jim and Nancy married on August
12, 1955. While Jim pursued his engineering degree, Nancy
worked as a registered nurse until she gave birth to their son,
James Arthur Cranmer in Salt Lake City, Utah on November
8, 1957. Jim received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil
Engineering in the spring of 1958. The couple moved the day
after Jims graduation to Grass Valley, California where they
lived for more than four decades and where Nancy gave birth
to their daughter Ann Marie, on November 29, 1959. Jim and
Nancy remained together for almost 61 years until Nancy’s
passing in April of 2016. Jim lived in Fort Collins Colorado
with Ann until he passed away peacefully from natural causes
on March 3, 2018 at Pathways Hospice in Loveland, Colorado
after a very brief stay. His daughter, Ann, was by his side when
he passed.
Jim started his own business, Cranmer Engineering, Inc., in
Grass Valley. He managed this business successfully up until
his retirement in 2003. He and Nancy led very full lives. They
traveled extensively and bred Arabian horses. When he was a
child, Jim saw a picture of an Arabian stallion in a book and
it was his dream to one day own such a horse. His dream was
fulfilled in 1958 when Jim and Nancy, along with Nancy’s
parents, bought their first Arabian – a grey stallion just like
the one Jim had seen so long ago in that book. In fact, their
daughter, Annie, still breeds Arabian horses today and prides
herself on the fact that she has several in her herd that trace
their lineage back to the first foal ever born on her parents’
ranch which was in 1963; the first filly sired by the stallion
they purchased in 1958. Jim was a passionate horseman
and loved to ride. One of his greatest accomplishments was
completing the 1987 Tevis Cup, a 100-mile endurance ride
along old Pony Express trails from Squaw Valley to Auburn,
California. Jim earned a silver belt buckle for his Tevis finish
and wore it with pride until the last days of his life. Jim was
also a master falconer and kept many different species of birds
of prey, including mating pairs. Jims children both have many
fond memories of practicing falconry with their father. Jim
also enjoyed building model airplanes as a child and went
on to obtain his private pilot license as a young man. Jim
continued to fly for most of his adult life.
Jim and Nancy moved to Malad City, Idaho after Jims
retirement in 2003 where they continued to breed Arabian
horses and farmed hay. Jim and Nancy made many wonderful
friends in the Malad Valley and very much enjoyed being
a part of that community. They moved to Fort Collins,
Colorado in October 2015 to live with their daughter, Annie,
after Nancy’s health began to fail. Nancy passed away on April
10, 2016 and Jim lived with Annie until he joined Nancy once
again in March of 2018.
Jim is survived by his children, James Arthur Cranmer
(Laura) of Grand Junction, Colorado and Ann Marie
Cranmer Gauntlett (Noel) who now resides in Ocala, Florida;
his two granddaughters (from Jim and Laura), Katie Anne
Cranmer Varney (Eli) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and
Emily Gean Cranmer Asbury (Alex) of Fort Jackson, South
Carolina and, to date, 3 great-grandsons, Finn Varney and
Timber and Ashton Asbury.
Jim led a life full of adventure and love. He was generous and
kind and had a particular affection for animals. He is missed
every day by family and friends. His children are grateful for
the wonderful childhood he provided and for the memories
that sustain them until they will be reunited with both Jim
and Nancy.
May god bless and keep him in our hearts until we
are reunited again.
Jim led a life full of adventure
and love. He was generous
and kind and had a particular
affection for animals.