Friday, September 4, 2009

Kit Neraas

James C. "Kit" Neraas, 56, of Hailey, died July 31, 2009, in Boise after a brief illness.

Kit was born in Wenatchee, Wash., on May 25, 1953, to the late John and Mary Neraas. He was raised in Spokane, Wash., and Erie, Pa.

Kit was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at the University of Idaho and graduated in 1976 with a degree in radio-television. He moved to Hailey following his graduation and was a resident there for 34 years.

Kit wore many career hats over the years. They included radio disc jockey, finish carpenter, building contractor, ski race announcer and band "roadie." His proudest accomplishment began in 1977, when he became involved with the Northern Rockies Folk Festival for 31 years and served as director for 25 years. The annual summer festival grew into a two-day show that has always featured local talent from the Wood River Valley and the regional and national music scenes.

Kit was a fun-loving and carefree spirit with an infectious laugh. He loved his dogs, sports and music. He was a talented swimmer, water polo player and skier. His first love was skiing, which he started at the age of 3 and never missed a season.

Kit is survived by his partner, Lisa Whitaker, her daughters, Jessica and Jamie, and granddaughter Victoria. He is also survived by his brother, John Neraas of Parker, Colo.; his sisters, Janet Saad of Bellevue, Wash., Barbara Nelson of South Lake, Texas, and Mary Beth Neraas of Westport, Conn.; as well as 10 nieces and nephews.

The family suggests remembrances to the Wood River Music Department, in care of Max Stimac, Wood River High School 1250 Fox Acres Rd., Hailey, ID 83333

A tribute to Kit and pot luck will be hosted by his family on Saturday September 12 from 4 to 7 pm at the Mint Bar 116 S. Main Street, Hailey. All are welcome to stop by and bring their favorite dish and stories to share.

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