James G. Follensbee, 92 of Watertown (formally Jefferson) died on Friday, January 22, 2021 at Marquardt Health Center in Watertown.
James was born on June 19, 1928 in Watertown, WI, the son of Neil and Hazel (Behnke) Follensbee. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1946 and soon joined the US Navy, serving from 1946-1948 and was stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI. After his military service was complete, he went to college on a GI Bill and earned a bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison, and a master’s degree from Oregon State University. On August 15, 1953, he married Caroline Rechlin at the Watertown Moravian Church in Watertown. The couple had 4 children and enjoyed 65 years of marriage until her death in 2018. Jim was a long-time science teacher at Jefferson High, known as “Mr. Wizard”, and spent 36 and half years in the school district. He had a way of explaining difficult subject matter to students of diverse learning abilities. For the record, Jim considered it a privilege to have taught 4197 students. Sports were important to Jim and he served as Athletic Director for a time and was a known PA announcer for many high school sports. Upon retirement, Jim and Caroline traveled the world with friends, Jim golfed, jogged many places, enjoyed woodworking, but mostly loved spending time with his family. He and Caroline were members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church their entire married life. Jim served on the council there. Jim was a kind, loving, and devoted husband, father, and friend. He was a loyal patriot until the end and his memory will be cherished.
James is survived by: Children Ronald (Brenda) of Lake Geneva, Robert (Ruth) of Oakdale, MN, Susan (Richard) Storey of Las Cruces, NM, and Mary (Steven) Schalig of Oconomowoc; grandchildren Nathan and Victoria Follensbee, Brady and Madeline Schalig. James is also survived a number other relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, and grandson Eric (2018).
The family would like to express a sincere thank you to the staff of Marquardt Village for the loving care provided.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Jefferson with the Rev. Dr. Bryan Salminen presiding and Rev. Rod Resheske preaching the sermon. Visitation will be on Friday from 4:00PM – 6:00PM at the Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home and on Saturday from 10:00AM until the time of service at the church. James will be buried at Union Cemetery of Jefferson following the funeral service.
The funeral service will be Livestreamed and viewable to the public on the Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home Facebook page.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James G. Follensbee, please visit our floral store.