Tom Raymer was born November 11, 1948 to Jack and Betty Raymer in Annapolis, Maryland. He learned to ski in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during his years at Arlington Virginia’s Wakefield High School, from which he graduated. After a tour of active duty in the Coast Guard reserve, he moved to Jackson Hole in the early 70’s.
His first job in Jackson was as a ski mechanic for the Jack Pine Ski Shop but realizing he’d rather be on skis than fixing them he doggedly pursued a job with and was eventually hired on to the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol.
He worked as a guide for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides but in 1976 a fall, while guiding, shattered his foot and left one leg shorter than the other ending that career. Preferring to work outdoors he tried various jobs such as being a cowboy for the Blackrock Cattle association on Togwotee Pass and a boatman for Charlie Sands Wildwater for five years.
Tom was known for his easy going manner, athleticism and zest for life; he never did anything conventionally. He lived for a winter in an igloo, spent a summer hiking up and down Tramline while he lived in the Halfway House, electing to have his other leg shortened so he wouldn’t limp he then biked from Arlington to Jackson as part of his recovery, he was the first individual winner of the Pole Pedal Paddle in 1975 and 1976 peddling his bike in his ski boot liners to save time during the transitions, he spent a winter in Meribel, France on ski patrol exchange knowing only a few words of French, and when asked for advice he was famous for saying ‘No danger!’. While building his small cabin on Teton Village Road he spent every evening at the Calico Pizza Parlor where a pizza bears his nickname ‘The Ranger,’ as does the JHMR ski run ‘Ranger’.
At the age of 37, after 12 years working for Jackson Hole Ski Patrol he tragically died in an avalanche on the Moran Faces while conducting avalanche hazard reduction work February 17, 1986. At the time of his death he was survived by his parents (who have since passed), a sister Susan Clark and nieces Jocelyn and Meilani. His little cabin has remained a gathering place for friends and family to honor and remember him.