Obituary of James Bronson
On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, Jim Bronson, loving husband, father, brother, and friend, passed away at the age of 78.
Jim’s story began in Townsend, Montana on April 1, 1944. He was born to Helen (Seth) and Vance Bronson, the 2nd child amongst 3 sisters. He graduated from Mt. Baker High School in 1963 and then moved to Seattle, WA where he trained to become a welder at Northwestern Glass. On July 26, 1969, he married longtime family friend Jeanne York. He and Jeanne moved to Boise where he began to work for Yanke Machine Shop. They welcomed their children into the world, Kevin and Janeen, teaching them life skills and instilling a strong work ethic. In 1977, Jim moved his family to Merced, California, to start a farm and animal equipment company with family friends. At Triangle Bar Manufacturing, he helped design and build automatic gates which gave him the opportunity to work all over the states. In 1994, he and his wife moved back to Boise to help his parents manage the responsibilities of the mountain homestead. As his children were grown, he went back to school and graduated from Boise State University with an associate’s degree specializing as a machinist. This skill set took him to work at Weyerhaeuser until he retired in 2012. But retirement only meant that his work moved from Boise up to his mountain shop on Clear Creek.
Jim Bronson was a gifted man. His imagination and artistic ability allowed him to bring ideas from the ether into the world of application. These talents, along with his stubborn work ethic, were the bedrock of his life. He had the canny ability to visualize and then build, whether it was works of art or industrial machinery. He never met a piece of steel he didn’t love.
Family traditions were very important to Jim. He followed in his father’s footsteps and built his own dune buggy which took his friends and family on many adventures. Jim was an active father who participated in his children’s interests and education. He spent many hours working with the YMCA Indian Guides, soccer and the Merced Marching 100. His dedication to blacksmithing, antique gas engines and tractors resulted in his involvement with the California Blacksmith Association, Idaho Knife Association, Idaho Tool and Trades Historical Society and the Treasure Valley Flywheel Engine Club. He was one of the founding members of the Snake River Antique Power Association. He loved educating the public about rope making, corn shelling, and early day gas engines at the Museum Comes to Life in Boise and at Mountain Meadows Camp for Kids in Idaho City. Jim could create both practical machinery, as well as, functional, whimsical works of art. His most favorite work of art was his interactive antique water faucet display that was a spectacle at fairs and shows throughout the Pacific Northwest. His artistic work enchanted others.
Jim was known for being a kind and compassionate man who was always giving of time, experience, and heart. He was a man of few words and did not like a lot of attention. He showed his character in his actions, mentorship, and hard work. Despite his declining health, his last days were spent with family and friends up at the mountain he loved so much.
Jim was preceded in death by his father Vance and mother Helen. He is survived by his wife Jeanne; two children: Kevin and Janeen; grandsons: Vance, Orrin and Benjamin; sisters: Caroline Anderson, Jane Bronson and Anne Pelletier; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will be planned in the late spring of 2023 after the snow melts; and with a meadow picnic to be enjoyed by all, just the way Jim would have wanted.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Bronson, please visit Tribute Store