James Brotzman

Obituary of James W. Brotzman


James W. Brotzman, 76, of Schwenksville, PA passed away on February 26, 2022, at Phoenixville Hospital surrounded by his loving family. Jim was the husband of James McFarlane, his devoted soulmate of fifty-two years.

Born in Phillipsburg, NJ, January 8, 1946, he was the son of the late Leonard and Isabel (Frey) Brotzman. Jim graduated from Phillipsburg High School, Class of 1964, and Lafayette College in Easton, PA, Class of 1968. He also earned his master’s degree from West Chester University.


Fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a teacher, Jim respectfully declined lucrative offers from interested pharmaceutical companies to accept a position as a Science teacher at Spring-Ford High School in Royersford, PA where he spent his entire career teaching Biology, Life-Science, Anatomy and AP Biology courses. Throughout his 35 years, he never lost his love and enthusiasm for his job and its challenges. An inspired and involved teacher, Jim was often the last to leave at the end of the day. He chaperoned senior trips, briefly coached tennis, and participated in school plays and other activities that were positive bonding experience meant to spill over into the classroom and deepen his impact on his students.
Admired by students, colleagues, and administrators for his fairness and professionalism, Jim was a no-nonsense teacher who prepared his students well. Some students reported being able to skip their first year of college-level science classes and get credit since Jim had already covered the material so well. It was especially meaningful when former students would write to him expressing their gratitude for the “head-start” they had received in Jim’s classes. Among his many other honors, Jim was chosen to participate in a week-long panel convened in Pittsburgh for the purpose of rewriting the standardized tests for the state of Pennsylvania.

Blessed with a beautiful voice Jim often sang at the Pilgrim Presbyterian Church in Phillipsburg and performed touching solos at countless weddings. His gift of music brought calm and serenity to any occasion. During his college years, Jim was a proud and honored member of the prestigious Lafayette Choir directed by John Raymond, performing locally and throughout New England.

Among his many talents, Jim was president and membership chair of the Greater Norristown Art League who, with other dedicated members, saw the league grow from approximately 200 persons to almost 700; he was an award-winning stone sculptor and world traveler. Jim and his partner drove to Mexico twice, a trip that covered 17,000 miles in a Volkswagen. He visited Tulum when it consisted of no more than a small grass hut, and Cancun when the region was just being built. Together they visited most of the European countries at least once, enjoying and returning to Venice several times. They found Greece, Croatia, and Slovenia all beautiful and steeped in history. They cruised to Panama and Columbia and enjoyed the warm, clear waters of Jamaica. Their most exotic adventures were a trip to China and a cruise on the Yangtze River as well as two trips to Egypt including cruises on the Nile. The “Jims” as they were called by friends and family had rich memories and interesting stories to share from their extensive travel experiences.

Though Jim appreciated and eagerly traveled the globe, Maine was his favorite place in all the world; its rocky coastal waters called to him, soothing his soul and eventually bringing him momentary relief from the daily pain of his physical challenges.
Jim will be missed by all who knew him for his good heart, generosity, love of travel, nature, animals, and gardening as well as his legendary sense of humor. His laugh will never be forgotten. Jim leaves behind his grieving soulmate/husband, Jim McFarlane, his dog Eiren and two large families all of whom loved Jim dearly including his sister, Joan (Brotzman) Clymer and her children; Eileen Clymer Schwab and Tim Clymer along with their spouses, children, and grandchildren; brother Tom Brotzman and wife Vickie and their daughters; Becky Gunderman and Stephanie Savercool along with their spouses and children. Jim is also survived by his husband’s sisters Mary Curcio and Anna Marlin; their children Debbie Harter, Alfred Curcio, Kenneth Curcio, Craig Curcio and their spouses and children. James Marlin, Patricia Booker, Beth DiLLeo, John Marlin and their spouses and children. In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by a brother Robert Paul Brotzman, brother-in-law Clairmont Clymer, and nephew Greg Clymer.


As per his wishes no formal service will be held. If desired, and in lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Jim's name to the Perkiomenville SPCA, Montgomery County, Mainline Animal Rescue, Chester Springs and Presbyterian Church/Sue Redcay Music Scholarship in Phillipsburg, NJ, or a charity of your choice.


A Memorial Tree was planted for James
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at R. L. Williams, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc.
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