I was born to John and Dorothy (née Dammarell) Branting, on December 14, 1947, in Moscow ID. The firstborn, my family eventually included 5 brothers and 2 sisters, one of whom ─ Candace ─ died in 2003. Dad died in 1980, mom in 2008. I am the scion of Swedes from the “old country” who settled in Idaho before statehood and English folk descended from the first Kvenland king of Finland (2nd century CE). They immigrated to the Virginia colony in the 1660s, where my forebear, Nicholas Spencer, was governor of Virginia in the 1680s. Both my father and mother’s families trace their lineages back to knights who fought at the Battle of Hastings with William the Conqueror on October 14, 1066.
After spending my early years in Troy ID, I moved with my family to Lewiston ID in 1952 and began my education, which included my Bachelor of Arts degree at Lewis-Clark Normal (now Lewis-Clark State College), where I served in several student body offices, including ASB president (1969).
I completed extensive graduate studies at the University of Idaho (English, history, gifted, geophysics), College of Idaho (gifted), Arizona State University (gifted), Lewis-Clark State College (fifth year, education; English, history, gifted, mathematics), Boise State University (gifted), and Idaho State University (geographic information systems). All the while, I have served as an adjunct faculty member for Lewis-Clark State College and the University of Idaho.
I married Elizabeth Shann Robertson in Victoria BC Canada on April 9, 1970. She is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Educated in Victoria, British Columbia, Shann is descended from Canadian Scots and North Dakota Norwegians. Our son Spencer was born on September 30, 1972. He is a successful senior engineering designer living and working in the Seattle area.
After several years teaching in Orofino ID and Kendrick ID, I joined the faculty of Independent School District 1 (Lewiston ID) in 1976, retiring in 2009 after 33 years as a coordinator for gifted and innovative programs. Teaching was a career most fulfilling.