Obituary: James C. Fetterman, Sam Fox School senior lecturer, 68

James (Jim) C. Fetterman, senior lecturer in landscape architecture at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, died at home Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. He was 68.

Fetterman (Photo courtesy of Arbolope Studio)

Born in Las Cruces, N.M., and raised in Kirkwood, Mo., Fetterman was an influential figure in St. Louis landscape design for more than 40 years. A former group vice president at HOK, he most recently served as a principal with Arbolope Studio, where he worked on a handful of Washington University plans. These ranged from the Lofts of Washington University and the Knight Hall welcome court to the mobility framework plan and the Art on Campus projects “Weather Field No. 2” (2018) and “Places” (2017). In addition, Arbolope is local partner for Michael Vergason Landscape Architects on the east end project.

“Jim was an incredible person as well as a loving father, grandfather, professional, professor and mentor,” said Irene Compadre, a Sam Fox School alumna and founding principal of Arbolope. “His compassion, expertise, humor, mentorship and love will be greatly missed.”

Fetterman earned his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in 1974 and, after a period of graduate study, joined HOK in 1976. Major projects with the firm included St. Louis Union Station, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the Emerson Grand Basin and Post-Dispatch Lake in Forest Park. In 2004, he was elected a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Fetterman taught in the Sam Fox School’s Master of Landscape Architecture program, part of the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, since its inception in 2010. His studios “Grading + Landform” and “Landscape Technology” introduced students to the history and techniques of earthworks and topography, from surveying and water management to circulation, planting and microclimate manipulation.

Fetterman is survived by his daughter, Jamie; by two sons, Matt and Scott; and by five grandsons: Nick, Will, Luke, Milo and Maverick. Memorial donations may be made to Washington University’s Fetterman-Compadre Scholarship Fund or to Tower Grove Park.

Leave a Comment

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.