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OBITUARY: William James “Jim” Faris

Jim Faris passed away on Wednesday September 9, 2015 at the age of 84, at Golden Living Care Center in Hopkins, Minn.

He was born on September 22, 1930 in Milwaukee to Clarence and Evelyn (Stielow) Faris. He attended Port Washington High School and served in the U.S. Army for 3 years during the Korean War. He returned to the Milwaukee area and married his sweetheart, Shirley Jenks on May 1, 1954. Together they raised 3 children.

Jim worked as a Tool and Die maker for Mercury Marine for many years, finishing his career at the EAA museum as a carpenter until his retirement. Known for his beautiful carpentry skills and his penchant for perfection, he not only built things as an independent carpenter, but also did most of the finishing work on his family’s homes as well. He was a longtime member of the Masonic Lodge #26 in Fond du Lac, where he served a total of 9 terms as Grand Master. He was also a member of the Fond du Lac Tripoli Shrine. Jim and Shirley loved to travel together. Their common joy was touring the Great Lakes Area Lighthouses. If there was a lighthouse, they were sure to find it. He also followed several engine clubs over the years, showing his numerous Cub Cadet Lawn Tractors and accessories. He was also very fond of St. Bernard dogs, as he had several of them in his lifetime.

When Shirley developed Alzheimer’s, he became her primary caregiver until her passing in June of 2000. He relocated to Brillion, Wis. in 2013. In February of 2015, Jim suffered a major stroke while visiting family in Minnesota, and remained there for his care and recuperation, until the time of his passing.

Jim is survived by his children; Jeffrey (Debra) of Excelsior, Minn., Dale (Pamela) of Brillion and Diane (James) Soda of Goose Creek, S.C.; 11 grandchildren, Shawn (Heather) Faris, Jennifer Faris, Adam (Erica) Faris, Brianne (Adam) Sprangers, Cory Faris, Christopher (Erin) Friedrich, Justin Friedrich, Heather (Lance) Riviere, Dezaray (Zeb) Zelinski, Samantha Soda and Nicholas (fiancée Emma) Soda; 11 great-grandchildren, Evelyn, Easton, Rachel, Lindsey, Bradley, Hailey, Hudson, Austin, Zachariah, Adriana, and Ethan. He is further survived by his sister; Jean (David) Lawrence of Fond du Lac; nephew Lee (Rebecca) Lawrence; niece Linda (Bert) Adams and their children; nieces and nephews on Shirley’s side, Judy (Jeff) Shabman, David (Diane) Schmid, Joey (Michelle) Schmid, Dennis (Jennifer) Schmid and their children. Jim was preceded in death by his wife; Shirley, his parents; Shirley’s parents, Alton and Louise Jenks; and Shirley’s sister and brother-in-law, Delores and Joseph Schmid.

A memorial service and celebration of Jim’s life will be held at 7:00 PM on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 N. Park Ave. in Fond du Lac. Visitation with the family will begin 4:00 PM and continue until the time of the service. Jim will be interred together with Shirley at Rienzi Cemetery in Fond du Lac.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting a donation to The American Heart Association or The American Diabetes Association.

Guestbook, contact information and tribute wall may be found at


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