Sunday, December 27, 2009

Paying Tribute to a Great Man

Jimmy Mersereau
1943 - 2009

Jimmy Mersereau was born May 5, 1943 at his family home in Bartlett, NH. Jimmy passed away peacefully at his home December 23, 2009. He had been employed at Cranmore Mountain since 1971 and was responsible for many aspects of resort operations.

Jimmy loved life and was passionate about fishing and hunting, and recently took up the game of golf. He was at home in the outdoors and spent much of his personal and professional life outside. He loved his friends and family and was especially fond of his canine companion Sandy. He is survived by his adored long time partner Andrea Libby.

Jimmy was known for his fantastic sense of humor and for his homespun quips such as “It’s a lazy wind today. It doesn’t want to go around you, it goes through you.”

His first job was at the Willey House in Crawford Notch caring for the animals. Then he worked for the State of NH doing plowing and road crew work through the Crawford Notch. He then worked construction for Whit Duprey. He found his niche at Cranmore and began a storied career there in 1971.

Jimmy was a legend in the ski industry having been a pioneer in now-common practices such as grooming and snowmaking. His expertise was recognized when he was chosen to be a groomer at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

He was also a leader in environmental practices, applying for and receiving a grant for Cranmore to switch its grooming vehicles to biodiesel fuel in 2003. Their use of the fuel became a case study and a benchmark still used today in the use of this alternative fuel in cold weather applications.

Cranmore was his home away from home and family referred to the mountain as “Uncle Jim’s Yard.” After a long hard winter on the mountain, Jim retreated each spring with his friends and loved ones to Grand Lake Stream, Maine to fish and recreate in the outdoors he loved so much. He then spent summer weekends at his camp in Pittsburg, NH fishing, reading and relaxing. He was a founding member of the Cranmore golf league team, the “Swingin’ Penguins,” who enjoyed consistent last place standings in Julie Rivers’ Traveling League.

Jimmy was beloved for his youthful and exuberant outlook, having unbounding energy for every aspect of life in the Valley, be it his role as guest conductor at an Arts Jubilee concert in 2006 or wearing the Penguin mascot suit when called upon at special events. Fireworks held at the mountain had special place in his heart.

Jim’s son Joshua and daughter in law Jennifer recently announced that they are expecting Jim’s first grandchild in May, 2010.

Jim is survived by his longtime partner Andrea Libby of Conway; son James Allen Mersereau, Jr. of Uncasville, CT, John Cobb Mersereau of Conway; son Joshua Mersereau and daughter in law Jennifer of Palm Coast, FL; daughter Jessica Montgomery of upstate New York; brother Herman Mersereau; and sister in law Dottie Mersereau of Braintree, MA; brother George Mersereau and sister in law Nellie Mersereau of Mashpee, MA; brother Norris Mersereau and sister in law Betty of Plano, TX; sister Patsy Rogerson and brother in law Bucky Rogerson of Bartlett, NH and aunt Margaret Mersereau Margison of Fredricton, New Brunswick; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jim is predeceased by his father Reginald Mersereau; his mother Beatrice Keniston; sister Doris Rutledge; brother Gerald Mersereau; sister Betty Mersereau; and nephew Norman Mersereau; and mother of his children, Judi Eisner.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Jimmy Mersereau Scholarship Fund, c/o Cranmore Mountain, PO Box 1640, No. Conway, NH 03860.

Calling hours will be from 10am-1pm at the Furber & White Funeral Home on Route 16 in North Conway, NH on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. A reception will be held at Cranmore’s Eating House starting at 5pm. A Snowcat and Torchlight parade will be held at 6:30pm in Jim’s honor. There will be no church services. Burial will be a private family service at a later date.


Wanderer said...

Snowmakers do not cry,we make snow!

Everyminute of every day there is someone who passes. Some are hardly missed, some take a part of the lives that surrounded them in life and, others are like Jimmy!

Jimmy is one of the few that has taken a part of an entire generation with him in passing! Jimmy was part of a generation who knew how to work hard, play hard and, laugh hard! His generation knew nothing more than hard work, true devotion, undying friendship and, kindness!

Jimmy was always there for those that needed it no matter the time of day! When things went wrong, his cool collective mind could always be counted on. When you went to work, down in the dumps, Jimmy lifted your spirits, sometimes just by his presence. Jimmy's radiant energy and positive outlook permeated everything in life.

Jimmy was a great amongst greats!

The saddest part of Jimmy's passing is not for all those that have known him, but for those that did not yet have a chance to do so.

In your honor, Jimmy, I make snow!

Peter Tessier along with all the snowmakers, groomers and, pumphouse operators of the past, present and future!

Bonnie said...

Whenever a snowflake leaves the sky, it turns and turns to say Good-by!
Alexander Selkirk

I'm happy to have met and worked with Jimmy for a short time. He was a good man.

My deepest sympathies to Andrea and the rest of Jimmy's family.

Bonnie MacPherson

John Lawson said...

Jimmy was the very Best Boss and teacher any man could have ever asked for. But above all He was also a Great Freind! From the day a Flatlander who knew nothing about a Ski Resort, Jimmy ( and his Son's) taught me everything and allowed me to grow through the ranks at Cranmore and do a job only a few can say they have held at Cranmore as Snow Surface Supervisor, I was proud and honored to have been givin this opportunity and with the faith Jimmy had in me. Even after I ended my career with Cranmore and moved back down south, Jimmy would keep in touch with me and I made sure I stopped in every time I was up thier to just catch up with him. I am glad I got to sit with him one last time just over a week ago early Sunday AM and as always I came away feeling good about myself because of the words of kindness and the humor Jimmy spoke.
I will miss Jimmy and each time the warm weather turns to cold I will remember Jimmy Saying "fire them up" in reference to the snow guns and also for the night in early November 2003 when we showed up together at 3 Am to Make just a little snow and make everyone get in that winter Spirit.
Thank You Jimmy! May you rest in Peace.

John Lawson
2000 to 2004
Former Cranmore Snow Maker & Groomer

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