Cover photo for James "Jim" Palmer Fetner, Sr.'s Obituary
James "Jim" Palmer Fetner, Sr. Profile Photo
1943 James 2024

James "Jim" Palmer Fetner, Sr.

February 1, 1943 — May 17, 2024

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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Jim Fetner on May 17, 2024, at the age of 81. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.

Jim was born on February 1, 1943, in Burlington, NC, to Jack Fetner and Elizabeth “Tib” Austin Fetner. He grew up in Asheboro, NC, and graduated from Asheboro High School and Appalachian State University, where he studied Business and Marketing.

Jim grew up playing golf and tennis with his friends and hunted bob-white quail at every opportunity. One of his proudest accomplishments in high school was competing as a running back on Lee J. Stone’s legendary football teams.

Jim proudly volunteered and served in the US Marine Corps, completing two tours of duty in Vietnam. He was an expert in Artillery Fire Control and earned numerous commendations for his service. Jim was a combat veteran and participated in numerous firefights and engagements.  Jim’s gift for reading maps and excellent decision making under pressure made him a popular selection for missions and operations.  

An entrepreneur and expert in Business, Accounting, and Computer Systems, Jim founded Fetner Associates, Inc. in 1979. He built the company to serve manufacturing and distribution customers across North Carolina and as far away as California, Ontario, Canada, and Miami, FL. Jim also taught computer programming at Randolph Community College, helping many of his students launch successful careers in technology.

Jim generously volunteered his time as an adviser to entrepreneurs and small business owners with SCORE of the NC Piedmont Triad, sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience. He was a founding member of the Randolph Rotary Club and Randolph County Crime Stoppers.

Beyond his professional achievements, Jim was a devoted father who instilled in his sons a strong work ethic, integrity, and relationship-building skills. The highlight of Jim’s life is the family he helped create with the late Iris Ann Dodson Stone. He is survived by his sons, James Palmer Fetner, Jr., and Mark Dodson Fetner, and their wives, Maggie Wright Fetner and Justina Anne-Proctor Fetner. Jim was incredibly proud of his grandchildren, William Fetner, Bradley Fetner, Gabriel Fetner and Iris Ann Fetner. He was recently preceded in death by his brother Lawrence Jackson Fetner II, and he leaves behind his sister Merrill Fetner Smith. He loved his siblings dearly. He also leaves behind niece Catherine Fetner, and nephews Lawrence Jackson Fetner III and Christopher Fetner, who will cherish his memory.

Jim had a passion for golf, snow and water skiing, shag dancing at Ocean Drive, and attending his grandchildren’s school and sporting events. He was known for his dedication to helping his customers succeed, his winning, positive attitude that lit up a room, and his legendary storytelling. Jim could turn any situation into a humorous anecdote, leaving everyone around him in stitches.

A private celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Randolph Community College Foundation in Jim Fetner’s honor.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the caregivers and spiritual care staff at High Point Medical Center for their compassionate care during Jim’s final days.

Jim will be deeply missed, but his legacy will live on through the love and memories he has left behind.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James "Jim" Palmer Fetner, Sr., please visit our flower store.

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