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James Bradley Jesmer


Southern Ute Police Officer James Bradley Jesmer died of complications of cystic fibrosis and a lung transplant Sunday, April 21, 2013, in Durango. He was 37.

Known as Brad or “Jez,” he was born to Frank and Marilyn Jesmer on May 14, 1975, in Fullerton, Calif. He grew up in Ignacio and Arboles, graduating from Ignacio High School in 1994. He spent many of his teenage years working at Navajo Reservoir as a “dock boy,” his family said, “where he met and entertained many people with his humor and charm.”

In 1996, Mr. Jesmer earning an associate of applied science degree in mechanical drafting and design from San Juan College in Farmington.

He ran a boat-repair shop at Navajo Reservoir and in Farmington from 1997 to 2008.

In 2008, Mr. Jesmer underwent a double-lung transplant at the University of Colorado at Denver Hospital. That allowed him to attend the San Juan Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy in Durango to pursue another life goal, joining law enforcement. He graduated May 14, 2010, and went to work for the Southern Ute Police Department.

In July 2012, he had a second double-lung transplant.

Mr. Jesmer enjoyed hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, photography and spending time with family and friends. He was an investigator for Sasquatch Investigations of the Rockies and had a passion for the organization, his family said.

“He was an outstanding engine diagnostician, and was always more than happy to help anyone who asked,” his family said. “Brad always made everyone around him laugh. He always had a funny story to tell or a joke to make. If you knew Brad, you know there was no being sad or upset around him because he could make the saddest person laugh with his endless comedy acts.”

Mr. Jesmer is survived by his parents, Frank and Marilyn Jesmer of Ignacio; sisters, Leesa Ryan of Farmington; Codi Whiteman-Burkland of Vernonia, Ore.; brother, Kevin Winch of Ontario, Canada; grandmother Irene Gray of Ignacio; companion, Amber Albo of Bayfield; three nieces; and numerous extended family members.

A service of remembrance will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at the Southern Ute Multi-Purpose Room, 258 Ute Road in Ignacio. Burial will take place afterward at the Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield. A luncheon will be held after the burial at Ute Park in Ignacio.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the “For benefit of Brad Jesmer Account” at Wells Fargo Bank to help cover medical expenses; or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 65 Roses Club, 6931 Arlington Road, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814.

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