Jimmie Ray Nunn of Flagstaff, born on March 18, 1927 in Sweetwater, Texas, passed away of natural causes at Orchid Park House Assisted Living Center in Phoenix on March 10, 2020, 8 days short of his 93rd birthday. Upon moving with his family to Flagstaff in 1934, Jimmie began skiing there, two years prior to its first rope tow. A star high school basketball player and ski team member, he was an unofficial Junior National Ski Patroller as of 1944. After serving in the Navy in World War II, Jimmie earned his BS at Arizona State College and his Master of Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1952. He became a well-known Phoenix architect, business partner of Ralph Haver, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Active in both water and snow sports, Jimmie was a long-time member of the Desert Boat and Ski Club and of the National Ski Patrol.
Having started the Phoenix Ski Patrol in 1952, Jimmie worked his way through NSP ranks, occupying every position from Patrol Leader to Assistant National Director. As a member of the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics Ski Patrol, he was part of Andrea Mead's honor escort as she skied the Olympic torch into the arena. Jimmie drew the plans for the current Agassiz Lodge and first chairlift at the Arizona Snow Bowl, was involved in trail designs for Mt. Lemmon Ski Area in Tucson, and the Bill Williams Ski Area in Williams, and designed the Sunrise Ski Area. Jimmie was a founding member and long-time Director of ISHA (the International Skiing History Association) from its inception, in 1991. He received the NSP Distinguished Service Award in 2001 and the Far West Ski Association's “Snowsports Builder Award” in 2016. The Arizona Ski Museum, consisting of Jimmie's collection of memorabilia dating back to 1894 and currently housed in the “barn” Jimmie designed for it in Flagstaff, has been donated to the Arizona Snow Bowl. Jimmie was an incurable inventor and tinkerer… he seemed to have multiples in the tool and repair materials department. It's possible that he proved the adage that if you take something apart and put it back together enough times, you eventually will have two of them.
Jimmie Nunn was preceded in death by his parents Cleo Bill and Irma Dee (Bryan) Nunn, his sister Billie Oddonetto, first wife Mary Ann (Waldhaus) Nunn, and second wife Jerry (Colburn) Nunn. He is survived by his children Stephen Nunn, Mary Elaine Hollabaugh and Michael (Kathie) Nunn; 7 grandchildren: Aly, Eric, Trevor, Tyler, Christopher, Austin, and Jacob; and by his niece Diane (Bill) Mensch and nephew Bill (Karen Minor) Oddonetto.
Although no specific dates for Celebrations of Life have been set, two are planned for late spring or early summer: one in Phoenix and one at the Arizona Snow Bowl. Check for updates at www.hansenmortuary.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to or the National Ski Patrol, 133 South Van Gordon Street, Lakewood, CO 80228 or https://www.nsp.org/donate/donationpage.html.
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.