James E. (Jim) Rae passed away on September 23, 2017 at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston where he had been a resident since July 2006 after suffering an earlier stroke.
Jim was born on February 13, 1930 in Kingston, Idaho. He was the third of four sons born to Elmer and Vienna Wuokila (Rape) Rae. The family moved several times, eventually returning to the South Fork of the Clearwater where Jim attended schools in Harpster, Grangeville and Stites. He graduated from Stites High School in 1949.
Jim married Rose Long on December 29, 1959 and they made their home in Grangeville.
Jim formed Rae Brothers Sporting Goods in 1975 with his brothers, Bill and Duane. He worked at the store until his health forced an early retirement at age 75.
Carpentry was one of Jim’s great gifts. In addition to working on several local projects such as the Fenn Elevators, Grangeville Elementary School and the steeple on the United Methodist Church, he worked as a construction foreman on the Dworshak Dam. Jim’s last big project was remodeling an old service station on Grangeville’s Main Street to house Rae Brothers.
Jim was an active member of Mt. Idaho Lodge #9 and was a familiar face at the Border Day’s Cowboy Breakfast for many years. He was also a member of the Grangeville Christian Church, having been baptized in July of 2012.
Although the past twelve years presented numerous health challenges for Jim, he remained constant in his efforts to maintain contact with his many friends. He greatly enjoyed and appreciated trips back to Grangeville, as well as the countless activities and outings organized by the Veteran’s Home. Jim never gave up hope of the possibility of returning home where he could once again resume an active, working life and not rely on other people taking care of him. He greatly appreciated the care he received at the Veteran’s Home, but he missed his independence and longed to go back to ‘pounding nails’.
Jim is survived by his son, Ben Rae of Coeur d’Alene; his daughter, Kathy (Bob) Ackerman of Grangeville; three grandchildren, Kristen (Ryan) Daly, Alex (Erica) Ackerman & Gabriel Ackerman; a brother, Duane Rae of Woodlake, CA; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Rose; and two brothers, Francis Robertson and Bill Rae.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 30, at 11 a.m. at the Grangeville Christian Church under the direction of Blackmer Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to any organization that serves Veterans, such as the VFW, American Legion, Grangeville Veteran’s Center, Idaho State Veteran’s Home or Quilts of Valor.