Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

James P. Fassler

 

July 11, 2019

James P. Fassler died July 3, after battling dementia and other health challenges. His beloved Margie and other family members were near.

Jim was born June 15, 1934 in Cañon City, Colorado, to Joseph and Frances Konty Fassler. After a stellar athletic career at Holy Cross Abbey, he went on to Regis College, Denver, and a lifelong vocation of reading, teaching, and coaching.

In 1956, Jim married Margaret Mary Smith, and they began their family life in Denver. After a few years in Denver and Dubois, Jim and Margie and their growing family settled in Worland. There they made their home, their mark, and many dear friends.

Jim was a perennial volunteer in church and community, and for most summers out of school, he worked with the U.S. Forest Service or painted houses, but most people knew him as Mr. Fassler or Coach Fassler. He taught English to generations of Worland students and coached dozens of Warrior sports teams, including the 1978 track and field state champion girls. With Margie, friends, and the Elks, he founded the Wyoming State Girls Track and Field Meet of Champions and earned a spot in the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame.

Jim's second career was with UW Outreach. In retirement, he read history books and led life-long learning courses. He also loved to learn about his Catholic faith, which he shared in St. Mary Magdalen parish classes and by his powerful example. Jim's students returned years after graduation to thank him for bringing out their best, for passing along his love of learning, and for caring deeply about them. From earning his M.Ed. at UW in 1972 to his last years, he was a model for people who understand that life is best lived in learning.

Wherever he went, even far beyond Wyoming's borders, Jim would run into friends and spend happy minutes reminiscing and renewing those relationships.

The center of Jim's life was his family. He was a loving partner to Margie for 62 years. He raised, taught, coached, and cherished 5 children, and always looked forward to spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. To his family, Jim left invaluable legacies: a love for standing in mountain air and running water to see a trout rise, an appreciation of good humor, gratitude for lovingly-prepared food, a generosity of spirit for loved ones and people less fortunate, and an enthusiasm for beer, Rockies baseball, Broncos football, and women's basketball.

Jim was preceded in death by his daughter (Debby), 5 brothers (Joe, Paul, Leo, John, and Ed), sister (Helen), daughter-in-law (Kandyce), and son-in-law (John Lamb).

He is survived by Margie, daughters Becky Lamb and Amy (Scott) Evans, sons Stephen Strong (Catherine) and Chris (Suzanne) Fassler, son-in-law John Reed, brother David, 11 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and countless friends.

Margie and the family thank the many friends and neighbors who eased the challenges of these last months with a thousand kindnesses, great and small.

A Vigil Service will be held 7pm, Sunday, July 14, 2019 at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Worland. The Memorial Mass will be Monday, July 15, 2019 at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church at 10am. The Graveside Service to follow at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Worland.

Memorial donations may be made at jdrf.org or to the Fund for the Poor at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church. Online condolences can be made at veilemortuary.com Arrangements have been entrusted to Veile Mortuary.

 
 

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