Eugene “Jim” James Brandner Jr. was born in Great Falls, Montana on May 8, 1949, to Eugene James Sr. and Mary Alice Brandner. He grew up with his younger brothers Ronny Lee and Daniel Joseph in Great Falls. There were lean years but the family was strong and supportive. In 1968 Jim joined the U.S. Army. He eventually served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971 in the 2nd Field Forces. In 1974, he met and fell in love with Denise Brookings and they married in 1977 in Great Falls, Montana.
After the military Jim worked different jobs from a tire shop with his brother to pre-construction survey for the Forest Service. He soon started building houses in the summers. In the winter they would go to Wyoming and Colorado to work the oil rigs. In 1979, Jim and a friend were rebuilding a garage that had blown down on Gore Hill. The temperature was -35 degrees with a wind chill of -70. That night he called his uncle Roy in Amboy, Washington and asked what work was like in Washington. Two weeks later he was working as a carpenter on Bonneville Power House 2. He continued to work heavy construction for the rest of his life including Bonneville, the 205 Bridge which connects Portland to Vancouver, a chip plant in Camas, Washington, and the Mariners stadium in Seattle. Jim later went back to school after being accepted to Northern Arizona University. He earned a master’s degree in art. After graduating he returned to construction working as a carpenter, pile buck, and rigger. Moving up in the management from hand to foreman, and through the steps to construction manager. Jim found himself at the top of his career as a structural superintendent, traveling all over the world from Dubai to Peru. He enjoyed every minute of it. When he had free time from construction some of his favorite hobbies were hunting, fishing, backpacking and motorcycling.
Jim is survived by his wife of 45 years, Denise Brookings-Brandner, two children Karlee (Moses) and Kable (Olivia), seven grandchildren Titus, Maysen, Shea, Sydney, Naillon, Beckett, and Kinzley.
Dad, you will forever live in our hearts. We love you, miss you and enjoyed every minute we had with you. Thank you for all the great memories and time together.