James Fenno

Financial analyst, worked on the Apollo program

James Elton Fenno, 81, died peacefully on Jan. 15, 2020, in North Riverside. Born on April 30, 1938 in Wabasso, Minn. along with his fraternal twin, Jerry, they were the fifth and sixth of 11 children raised by Irene (née Reader) and Melvin Fenno, both of North Dakota. 

As a child, he delivered newspapers, loved to read novels and followed sports, especially baseball. In 1956, he graduated valedictorian from Cathedral High in Crookston, Minnesota and studied engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee, then worked in the early 1960s at M.I.T. in Boston on designs for the Apollo space program. Upon returning to southeast Wisconsin, he met Ruth Roach, an English teacher and, during their 39-year marriage, they lived primarily in South Milwaukee and loved to travel. He was a longtime financial analyst for S.C. Johnson & Son in Racine. 

James Fenno is survived by his children, Christine (Patrick), Mike (Erin), and Joe (Celeste); his grandchildren, Ruby, Gavin, Braeden, and Kaelyn; his siblings, Lorraine (Cy), Betty, Mary (Chris), Margo (Rod), Jerry (Heidi), Steve (Maureen), and Mike (Cherie); and his many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents; his wife Ruth; and his siblings, Tom, Connie and Jeanne. 

A memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. until time of the memorial service, 12 p.m., at Oak Park’s Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Alliance for the Great Lakes (greatlakes.org) are sincerely appreciated.

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