April 8, 1927 - April 10, 2017
Service Date: April 23, 2017
Because Jim joyously celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends on Saturday, April 8, the family will host a simple reception from 2-4 p.m on Sunday April 23, at Brookdale at Sunrise Creek in Montrose. Crippin Funeral Home in Montrose is handling arrangements.
James (Jim) Wallace Kitchell passed away peacefully in Montrose, Colorado on April 10, surrounded by loved ones.
He was born on April 8, 1927, in Manhattan, New York, to Charles Kitchell, voice teacher, and Alma Hopkins Kitchell, professional concert singer and the first female national radio show host.
Jim was a pioneer in television broadcasting from 1956 to 1995. He started with NBC News in New York, serving in several producer/director positions, including: The Huntley-Brinkley Report; live news coverage of NASA space missions from 1956 -1975; all national political campaigns, conventions, and elections from 1952-1975; events surrounding John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy; several summer and winter Olympics; and President Nixon’s historic trip to China. In 1979, he was recruited by Ted Turner to be vice president of operations for the Cable News Network (CNN) in Atlanta, where he led the design, development, construction and production implementation of the world’s first 24 hour news cable service.
At Turner Broadcasting, Jim later served as vice president for operations and administration of Superstation WTBS, which delivered television cable service to 75 million households. He also led other special assignments with TBS related to covering national political campaigns and elections, the Goodwill Games with Russia and Olympic broadcast coverage.
Jim received many awards for his accomplishments, most notably 2 national Emmy awards, one as executive producer for television coverage of the first manned moon landing and another for technical innovation associated with the Goodwill Games. He was also individually nominated for six national television academy awards.
Jim moved permanently to Montrose in 2003, where he became an active community member through Rotary, the Montrose Community Foundation Board and HopeWest.
He is preceded in death by his older brother, Charles Kitchell; first wife, Mary Ellen Phelps Kitchell; and second wife, Martha Marie Summers Kitchell. He is survived by his three daughters: Marilyn Kitchell of Buena Vista, Pat Kitchell Landrum (Nick Landrum) of Denver, and Kate Kitchell (Michael Eldred) of Bayfield, Wisconsin; and two granddaughters, Samara Bridwell and Rhea Bridwell of Denver.
As a loving and supportive family man, Jim gave his children and grandchildren happy, secure, and productive lives. Jim was kind and generous, with a deep love of nature and a strong commitment to making the world a better place through community service. He was known as a man who set and accomplished his goals on his own terms … even as he left this world with dignity. He has forever touched our hearts and lives.
Donations may be made to HopeWest in memory of Jim Kitchell. Please send cards to c/o Marilyn Kitchell at 1925 Sunrise Dr. Unit A in Montrose (81401). Crippin Funeral Home in Montrose is handling arrangements.