Jim Gemmell left this world as we know it peacefully on Oct. 30, 2012, wrapped in the arms of his lifelong companion, best friend and wife, Jeanne. Jim lived a full and adventurous life.
He was a remarkable man, a devout lover of music and of life. His love affair with the Wood River Valley began in 1975 when he and Jeanne bought a condo here and never stopped enjoying it. Their home base was in Santa Barbara, Calif., where Jim taught music at San Marcos High School. He touched and inspired thousands of young people. After a long, wonderful career, he retired, and he and Jeanne returned to Sun Valley and taught skiing for nine years. Jim was asked once why he chose teaching as a career, and he responded with this: “The enthusiasm of youth as it suffers the disciplines and soars in the freedoms of music is an exciting experience to share. I suppose sharing is the key word; the most significant influence in my choice of career. All of man’s art is intended to be shared and I feel that I share best through teaching.”
Jim never stopped learning and enjoying life. He and Jeanne throughout an adventurous 47 years of marriage explored the U.S.A. and traveled the world. He touched so many people’s lives with his kindness and passion for living. Jim has left this world a better place with his presence, and he will be greatly missed by those of us fortunate enough to have known such a man. Good bye old friend, keep on dancing.