• Kevin Hessel

James Brumback Jr.


James Jackson Brumback Jr., known as “Jack” to friends, was a San Francisco native, born on August 23, 1934. He was the only child of James Jackson Brumback and Marion Stuller Brumback. Jack showed an early talent for art and won a Latham Award Certificate of Merit for their International Poster Contest in 1946. He graduated Lowell High School in 1952 before earning an Associate in Arts two-year degree from San Francisco City College in 1955. Feeling parental pressure to have a “respectable” career, he took courses in medicine, philosophy and architecture before discovering his true love: art. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961 from the University of California, Berkeley, then his master’s degree in 1962. During this time, he fulfilled his military service commitment in the U.S. Naval Reserves, serving in Oakland in electronics, then as a firefighter.

Jack loved two-wheeled sports and speed, and owned a handful of Porches over the years. He loved to take whatever sport motorcycle he had at the time out on West Marin roads to test his limits and the bike’s. He was a lifelong bicycle rider as well, and went daily out to Golden Gate Park and Lake Merced for long rides, then in later years, around Marin. He passionately loved J.S. Bach and Glenn Gould’s “Goldberg Variations.” He loved dogs although he never owned one and always stopped to talk to them. He was a gentle soul who cared about all of God’s creatures, even carefully carrying spiders out of the house to the garden. He enjoyed his friends, especially Paul Brown, a master bicycle builder, and Dan Anaya, both whom made his life more whole.

Jack’s dream of meeting and marrying a fellow artist came true in 1989 when he met Suzanne Siminger, and they married a year later. He preferred the quiet life and enjoyed painting every day, seven days a week. They spent their free time and vacations painting and drawing, and as a result, became outstanding and accomplished landscape painters. Jack won a Special Award and Blue Ribbon from the 2015 Marin County Fair and was recognized with a Jurors’ Award in 2018. He said, “I don’t paint locations, I paint relationships because that is where the art is.” His paintings are coveted by those who own his beautiful acrylics. Between 2007-2012, Jack and Suzanne spent five years in Santa Fe, New Mexico, painting the Southwest. As Marin residents, they moved from Sausalito to Mill Valley to Tiburon. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne.

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