School 12

James Wallis Potts

March 23, 1935 ~ December 4, 2021 (age 86)


James Wallis Potts passed away peacefully at home in the early hours of December 4th at age 86. James was a passionate man who loved God, adored his wife Joyce Ann Potts, and served his country and community with fervor and deep appreciation.

Memorial Services will be 1:30 p.m., Thursday, December 30, 2021 at Calvary Chapel, Bemidji.

Honorary Urn Bearers are Lee Abrahamson, Sam Christenson, Chris Pollock, Bill Stoller, Barry Tischman, Erv Yoder and Joel Hanson.

Urn Bearer will be Anthony Westrum.

Born in Los Angeles, CA on March 23rd, 1935, James Potts always loved sports. He was an All-State record holder in high school. At Arizona State University, he was a member of the Hall of Fame 1954-55 basketball team. He left school to serve his country returning to college at University of Nevada Reno to earn his Bachelor of Sciences in Education. Hired by the Washoe County School District, in 1957, he served in many ways, including Director of Athletics, Counselor, and Assistant Principal for Sparks, Reno, and Washoe High Schools until 1989. During that time he also served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Children and Youth. James loved running, and completed the San Francisco Marathon in 1985 at age 50 in under 4.5 hours.

In 1985, he met Joyce Ann Westrum, the love of his life.  While living in Cedaredge in 1989, James gave his life to Jesus and became a deacon at his church. James and Joyce joined Sowers Ministry and traveled for 4 years in an RV, to settle finally in Bemidji, MN. James continued to serve youth as a coach for the Special Olympics, and as a substitute teacher. In 2013, he became Assistant Chaplain for the Bemidji State University Football team.  He loved the players dearly, and passionately served the team until his final days.

James W Potts is survived his wife, Joyce Ann Potts, Andrea Potts, Gregory Potts, Vicki Limbocker and spouse Craig Limbocker, Karen Claypool and spouse Greg Claypool, Yvonne Schoenfelder and spouse Russ Schoenfelder, Susan Lundquist and spouse Jim Lundquist, James Westrum and spouse Kim Westrum, 21 grandchildren, and 41 great-grandchildren. James is preceded in death by his parents, and his grandchild, Travis Claypool.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Bemidji Special Olympics.

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Wallis Potts, please visit our tribute store.


Memorial Service
December 30, 2021

1:30 PM
Calvary Chapel
500 Irvine Ave.
Bemidji, MN 56601

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