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Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Tulip Tree

It is with profound regret that The Museum of the San Fernando Valley acknowledges the passing of a great California historian and collector, Jim Gulbranson. Few have exceeded Jim's effort to carefully preserve our collective cultural heritage.

In his last days, this fine man was still at work to insure that the Valley's historic Campo de Cahuenga be fully utilized for future generations of Americans. The renovation now going on at the Campo in large measure reflects Jim's insistence on the highest museum standards for display and storage for research. He was a founding member of Campo de Cahuenga's Acquisions Committee.

When we first told Jim Gulbranson about our efforts to bring about a great Museum of history and culture for the San Fernando Valley, he warned us that it would take great effort, but in his words, "effort is the price you pay for building something that endures."

Jim Gulbranson passed away on June 6, 2007, after a long and difficult battle with cancer. A service to celebrate Jim's life will be held at the Simi Valley Covenant Church at 1 pm on Saturday June 9th. A reception will follow. The church is located at 4680 Alamo St., between the Stearns and Tapo Canyon off-ramps of the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Simi Valley.

Thank you Jim Gulbranson for your life and leadership.


Museum of San Fernando Valley said...

Deuk Perrin, Preisdent of Campo de Cahuenga wrote of Jim Gulbranson:
The Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association has lost an important icon and friend with the passing of our curator, Jim Gulbranson. He is standing with the spirits of those individuals who fought in the Civil War and signed the Articles at Campo de Cahuenga. I suspect that he is
asking them many questions. Keep good records Jim.

We heard from Guy about Jim's excitement in recently hearing about all
the things that are happening at the Campo, many of which he started
with Guy. I am glad we took the opportunity to bring him up to date.
will take his place in the honorary role of leaders who guided us to
we stand today.

Museum of San Fernando Valley said...

ames Gulbranson
JAMES B. GULBRANSON Age 64, passed away at his home in Simi Valley on June 5, 2007 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. On the eve of his passing, Jim's family gathered at his request and is so grateful to have spent that final evening together with him. He is surv ived by his wife of 40 years, Kathy; daughter Kirsten Lucas, her husband, Jay, and their five children, of Simi Valley; son Erik of Pacoima, and daughter Ingrid Windsor and her husband, Steve, of Valencia; his mother, Frances Gulbranson of Lancaster, sister Karen Blight and brothers Dave, Dennis, and Dan Gulbranson. Jim was born on June 28, 1942 in Glendale, California, to Ben and Frances Gulbranson. Deeply committed to their Christian faith, Ben and Frances raised their children in the Lutheran Church and Schools. Jim graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1960 and received his bachelor's degree from California Lutheran University in 1964. He served as an officer in the United States Army for the next three years including a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1965. He was a platoon leader at Ben Cat and Lai Kei and was awarded the Silver Star for action in the Battle of Hobo Woods. Returning to California as a 1st Lieutenant, he spent the following year as commander of a basic training company at Fort Or d, California. On May 6, 1967 Jim married Kathleen Berg whom he had met while they were on tour with the Concert Choir at CLU. Their wedding was held at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Granada Hills, California. Upon his discharge from the Army in 1967, he purchased San Fernando Glass Company carrying on a family tradition of his father and grandfather in that industry. He later added Aetna and Van Nuys Glass companies, now owned and operated by his son, Erik. Jim's faith in God and an activ e involvement in the Christan church continued to be pivotal for his entire life. For the past twelve years, he and Kathy have sung in the choir at Simi Covenant Church following twenty years at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Granada Hills. History and art were two of Jim's most avid interests. He credited a teacher with a knack for story-telling and a great section on the Civil War at his high school library with sparking his interest in history. While still in high school, he began collecting pottery and baskets of Southwestern Indian tribes and U.S. Cavalry uniforms and equipment from the Indian Wars period along with participating in a Civil War Memorial Regiment. He appears as the officer who fires the shot beginning the Oklahoma land rush in a media portrayal at the Gene Autry Museum in Los Angeles. Upon settling in the San Fernando Valley, Jim began an increasing involvement with local historical societies and was instrumental in the preservation of several important historical sites in the Sa n Fernando Valley serving as co-chair of the Lopez Adobe Preservation Committee, chair of the restoration committee for the Andres Pico Adobe in Mission Hills and later as its curator, and board chair and curator at the Campo de Cahuenga, in North Hollywood. He was often called upon to speak on his key interests in John C. Fremont and Pio Pico and their roles in California history. Jim initiated the Young Historians program, genealogy library, oral history program and Mark R. Harrington Memorial Libra ry during his many years in various leadership positions with the San Fernando Valley Historical Society and trained docents for the Andres Pico Adobe tours. He also had a special interest in Scandinavian artists who came to the American West in the 19th century, and served as president of the Scandinavian-American Art Society of the West. Jim served in numerous charitable and civic organizations including the Rotary Clubs of the San Fernando Valley and of Simi Valley, Boy Scouts of America, and numero us business and professional associations. The family wishes to express their gratitude for the care and support of so many special people: for the amazing medical personnel at Kaiser Medical Center, especially Dr. Eric Tong, Linda Deo, R.N. and the entire peritoneal dialysis team, and urologist Dr. Andrew Shpall who always went far beyond duty in their loving care, Tina and the nurses and staff at 2nd floor north: Home Health and hospice staffs from Kaiser and Los Robles, ER and ICU personnel at Kais er Woodland Hills and Panorama City and Simi Valley Hospital; for our church family at Simi Covenant and beyond who were always here for us, and a host of prayer warriors from all over. Your prayers were answered in incredible ways we hope to someday share with all of you. Jim will be dearly missed, but we are so grateful for the assurance of God's amazing grace and for the warmth of His hugs we felt through all of you. Funeral services will be held at Simi Covenant Church at 4680 Alamo St, at 1:00 on Saturday June 9th. Interment with full military honors will be at Arlington National Cemetery on August 22nd. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the memorial fund in Jim's name at Simi Covenant. REARDON SIMI VALLEY FUNERAL HOME DIRECTORS 805-526-6677
Published in the Los Angeles Daily News on 6/8/2007.