In Memory of




Obituary for James Paulo Kjelland

Jumbo, Jimbo, Brother, husband for hire, door whisperer, Carpenter, friend, Viking, animal lover, skier extraordinaire, mountain man. No matter what you called him, he was our favorite Norzillian. Our gentle giant. Born on October 31, 1960, in Sao Paulo, Brazil and raised in Lafayette, California, he learned how to ski at Lake Tahoe. Skiing was more than a hobby for Jim, it was his passion and there was nothing he loved more than being on Baldy, shredding the powder with his ski buddies. He came to Ketchum over 30 years ago and knew that he had found his forever home, a place where he could work, hike, bike and ski to his heart’s content.

Skiing with Jim was always about laughter, speed, powder, and more laughter. He competed as a speed skier at speeds approaching 120 mph from Silverton, Colorado to Davos, Switzerland. To ski with Jim was an experience! We can picture him on Baldy skiing endless expanses of untouched white powder with Chris, Lily, Bob, Kevin and others that have gone before him.

After completing an Associate’s degree in Photography at the Brooks Institute, Jim pursued his lifelong dream of being an international Director of Photography and Camera Operator for ski shoots. He was sought after and traveled to Europe, Japan, Switzerland, and France. Not only was he behind the camera, he was also in front of it. To see his grin in a photo would bring a smile to all….especially the ladies.

Sitting with him at Lefty’s, catching up on the latest news, and hearing him cheer on the Giants and the Raiders, his two favorite teams, was a favorite part of the day. He was one of our anchors there, and it will never be the same without him - his laughter, his wisecracks, and his concern for those that he knew and loved.

If any of us needed anything done, Jumbo was our man. He was a custom carpenter and could build just about anything. He could make a crooked door hang straight and his talents were well known throughout the Wood River Valley. To work with Jumbo meant that you had “made it”. If he was on your job site you knew it would be of the highest quality. His beloved dog Brin could often be found in his old Ford truck sitting co-pilot as he drove through town checking out job sites.

Jim leaves behind his two sisters, Deanna Murdy and Janice Sather; his nieces, Kristina Murdy and Kelsey Barrett; and his nephew Michael Murdy. He also leaves behind his firecracker of the past nine years, Page Demuth, who was with him to his last breath. Jumbo also leaves behind many friends who were his second family and loved him dearly. He had such a big heart and our lives will never be the same without him.

Our lives go on without you, but nothing is the same, we have to hide our heartache when someone speaks your name. Sad are the hearts that love you, silent the tears that fall, living our lives without you, is the hardest part of all. You did so much for us, your heart was kind and true, and when we needed someone, we could always count on you. The special years will not return when we were all together, but with the love within our hearts, you will walk with us forever.

A memorial service is planned at the top of Mt. Baldy at a later date in early summer.