Graham Bultemeier: 1990 – 2011
Vail, CO, Colorado
Graham Bultemeier, born and raised in the Eagle Valley, died May 14 from head injuries sustained in a longboard accident in Los Alamos, N.M. He was 21.
Described as an extremely giving person by family and friends, Graham stepped beyond the usual driver’s license organ donor signup. When his parents, Becky and Pat Bultemeier reached the hospital in Santa Fe where their son was airlifted following the accident, they discovered that Graham had listed specific wishes as an organ donor some time ago. That means countless people will continue to benefit by his giving spirit and ultimate donation.
“While we are overwhelmed with grief, we are so grateful for the love and support of our community that Graham so passionately embraced and embodied,” said the Bultemeier family. “Graham lived fully, although too briefly. Be open to all possibilities and accept your children for who they are – we are so thankful for and find peace in how we loved Graham so unconditionally.”
Close friend Roseanna Bitetto described Graham as the kindest, most open-hearted person she’s ever known. “Everyone who knew him learned something from him. He helped out wherever he could. He was so full of life – a big teddy bear.”
While he was in college a crippled dog ended up on Graham’s front porch in a rainstorm. Graham nursed the starving stray back to health and decided he had to keep her as she wouldn’t survive long at the local shelter.
His seventh grade science teacher, Michael Moser, described Graham as an innovative thinker with great enthusiasm for his ideas. “He was one of those special students who made teaching a real joy. I looked forward to each day he was in my class,” Moser said.
As a freshman in college, Graham learned the art of glassblowing. It became a passionate hobby, his mother said, as he enjoyed creating shapes that challenged his professors to define them mathematically.
Born in Vail Feb. 17, 1990 Graham attended Edwards Elementary, Berry Creek Middle School and graduated from Battle Mountain High School in 2008. He was a junior majoring in physics at New Mexico Tech in Socorro.
As a young boy, Graham enjoyed the challenge and camaraderie of scouting, receiving his Arrow of Light as a Cub Scout. He was an avid mountain biker, spending several summers working with kids at mountain biking camps. He also worked as a bicycle technician and interned for LGM Models learning how to build architectural models.
He loved snowboarding, hiking, skateboarding and camping with his brother Hunter and his friends. He played guitar and drums in a garage band, “Mixed Messages.” They competed in the “Battle of the Bands” with other high school groups.
Working beside his father Pat, Graham helped build a cabin near Leadville where the family enjoys spending time together. He was always a powerful role model for his younger brother Hunter.
“Hunter always knew how much Graham loved him, and speaks frequently about how much he learned from his older brother, ” his mother Becky said.
In addition to his parents and brother, he is survived by grandparents, Arlene and Bennie Royal of Independence, Mo., and Martha and Herbert Bultemeier of Sunrise Beach, Mo.
A memorial service and celebration of life gathering is being planned for June. In lieu of flowers, donations in Graham’s memory may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank.
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