James (Jim) Gautier, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away surrounded by his loving family, on June 1, 2021, from complications resulting from a fall.
Jim was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma on October 9, 1934 to Raymond Gautier and Ruth Kennedy Gautier. Jim and his sister Raymonda were raised by their mother who Jim believed instilled in him the values that defined his life. He was married to Fran Gautier with whom he had son Cort and daughter Jenalyn. Jim married Peggy Vergamini in 1976 and welcomed her two sons Terry and Tony into his life. Jim and Peggy were devoted and loving partners in life for the next 45 years.
Jim graduated from high school in El Dorado, Kansas in 1953 and attended Kilgore Junior College where he was a manager for and traveled with the Kilgore College Rangerettes. He enrolled at the Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University and graduated with a BS degree.
Jim began his professional career with the YMCA, working in Texas and California before moving to Los Alamos in 1971 to become Director of the Los Alamos Family YMCA where he continued his interest in developing youth programs. In 1976 he changed professions, working for a short time as Director of Development for St. Vincent‘s Hospital while earning his realtor certifications. Jim was an owner/broker and partner in real estate companies in Los Alamos for over 35 years and single handedly brought ReMax to Los Alamos. He enjoyed and was dedicated to helping his clients meet their housing needs.
Jim was an avid photographer with a special fondness for the historic New Mexico churches and their communities. He served on the Board of Directors for Cornerstones Community Partnerships and donated his time and materials to photograph these churches for Cornerstones for over 30 years. He also served on the Board of Directors for Silver Bullet Productions. From 1999-2019 he photographed 90 elders of Los Alamos as they were honored as Living Treasures of Los Alamos, again donating all of his time and materials. These portraits are on display at Enterprise Bank and Trust in Los Alamos.
In 2006, Jim and Peggy built a home and moved to Santa Fe where Jim broadened his black and white photography to include hand coloring and the use of encaustic (wax) to enhance his work. He shared his new skills by teaching classes using encaustic to enhance photographs. Jim continued to donate his art to many fundraising events held in Santa Fe including Cornerstones Community Partnerships, the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, Art Smart, the Cancer Foundation of New Mexico, St. Michael’s High School, Santa Fe Symphony and the Encaustic Art Institute.
Jim had an outgoing nature and the family knew he would always be adding a new best friend. He will be remembered by many as a mentor and teacher. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, sister Raymonda Dane, and stepson Tony Vergamini. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife Peggy Gautier, son Cort Gautier, grandson Jedidia, great granddaughter Ruby Jean, daughter Jenalyn Gautier, stepson Terry Vergamini and wife Mahan, brother-in- law Bill Dane and family and many friends.
Contributions in Jim’s name can be made to Cornerstones Community Partnerships in Santa Fe. A celebration of Jim’s life will be announced at a later date.
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