Jimmie Ray Nunn - Ski area architect, ISHA founding director

Passing Date

Jimmie Ray Nunn, a ski area designer and a founding director of the International Skiing History Association, passed away in Phoenix on March 10, 2020. He was 92.

Nunn grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, and began skiing at age six, four years before the area got its first rope tow. After World War II service in the Navy, in 1952 he earned a master’s in architectural engineering at the University of Colorado/Boulder. That year he returned to Arizona and founded the Phoenix Ski Patrol. He took on engineering projects for the Arizona Snow Bowl, Mt. Lemmon, Williams (now Elk Ridge) and Sunrise Park ski areas. He continued officiating in the National Ski Patrol, eventually becoming assistant national director.

Nunn served on the ski patrol for the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, where he met his future wife, Jerry, Crawford, a pioneering avalanche-control expert. They married in 1975. Jerry was elected to the US Ski Hall of Fame in 2003 and died in 2009 (see “The Lady and the Avalauncher,” Skiing Heritage, September 2002).