American Veteran 04

James Arthur Blumer

December 10, 1927 ~ January 4, 2022 (age 94)


James Arthur Blumer was born in Algona, Iowa, December 10, 1927. His parents were Paul and Helen (Emrie) Blumer. He grew up on the family farm near Lu Verne, Iowa. He attended a one room country school in Sherman Township, then graduated from high school in Lu Verne in 1945. He helped his father on the family farm and attended Luther College for one year, then returned to the farm until entering the Army during the Korean War in 1951.

In 1951, he married Bernice Arlene Hanson (always known as Arlene) in Bode, Iowa. He taught in a communications school in Ft. Riley, Kansas and served a tour of duty in Korea before leaving the Army in 1953.

They returned to farming and had three children, David, Paul, and Cheryl during the years from 1952 through 1958. During that time they lived near Bode, then in the Lone Rock neighborhood, then near Lu Verne, Iowa. In 1959, they left the Iowa farm and moved to Farmington, New Mexico, where he went to work for Mountain Bell Telephone Co. installing and repairing telephone equipment. In 1965, he was transferred and they moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico. There he worked at the Apollo site on the White Sands Missile Range supporting testing of the spacecraft which eventually landed on the moon. During that time he also served as President of Local 8613 of the Communication Workers of America, covering the southwestern quarter of New Mexico. In 1965, he was transferred and they moved to the Denver area, living in Northglenn, Colorado. He was trained and worked as a first-generation computer programmer/analyst, then as a manager in computer application development.

In 1968, their youngest daughter, Kristen was born. In 1972, their son Paul died. In 1985, he retired from US West, the successor to Mountain Bell. Also in 1985, he made a temporary move to New Jersey to develop computer applications for NECA in the communications industry. In 1988, he came back to Northglenn and worked as a consultant until 1993, then at a series of retirement jobs for many years. They moved to Westminster, Colorado in 1998.

He maintained church membership regardless of their many moves and was a member of Lutheran Church of Hope in Broomfield, Colorado since 1967.

His hobby was choral singing. He sang in a church choir whenever possible. He was a charter member of the Northland Chorale. He was very involved in chorale activities and sang with them in more than 300 performances of their semi-annual shows over a period of almost four decades. He also sang with the Mile Hi Barbershop Chorus for eight years. The chorus regularly ranked high in international competition and performed for large audiences all over the country during that time. While in New Jersey he went into classical music, singing with the Masterwork Chorus. He took particular pride in performing in Carnegie Hall several times and even more concerts in the Lincoln Center in New York. He also sang in the Brighton Music Chorus in Brighton, Colorado.

As one of his proudest accomplishments, Jim successfully published a novel in 2021 that he spent over forty years writing. It is titled Opening the Shutters by James A. Blumer, and is available to the world in hardcover and eBook. Through stories, recollections, and photographs he chronicled almost one hundred years, providing an accurate historical picture of a tremendous life well lived with a lot of humor and admirable tenacity. To quote the first chapter:
   “In that overflowing storehouse called memory, my mind is filled with millions of files full of pictures, words, and recordings of procedures, sounds and sensations. Some memories are simply tools that I have acquired from birth onward throughout life to meet the needs for existing, making a living, and exercising my talents. Many of those files are also filled with my personal history and recollections. While some are buried in piles of rubbish and indistinct even when I can find them, I have many of these memories neatly filed away, plainly labeled and kept crystal clear. Even so, I never quite know what to expect when I open the shutters and let some light shine into the dim nooks and crannies.
   I don't understand the rules that determine why I can recall certain things but not others. Some, of course, are easy to recall because they are so terrible. These are the ones that I would rather destroy, just as easily as computer erases a file from memory upon command. But they appear to be indestructible, and they seem to be strategically placed. These memories I must look at whenever I search for anything that is
related, either by chronology or content. Others are not blocked by any such obstacles, neatly filed and plainly labeled, they make me feel good when I pull them out to look, read, listen, and feel.”

Above all, Jim was devoted to his family. He is survived by his children David Blumer, Cheryl Oathout, and Kristen Blumer-Valdez, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His mother and father, wife Arlene, son Paul, and brothers Ralph, John, and Phillip Blumer preceded him in death.

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