He came to Princeton from Phillips Exeter Academy. At Princeton he majored in psychology and participated in the Psychology Club. His senior thesis, “The Psychology of Psychology and the Methodology of Science,” received recognition in the Alumni Weekly as “one of the best in the last 25 years.” After graduation he was commissioned in the Navy and served as a counterintelligence officer from 1955 to 1958.
Jim married Marilyn Laurie in 1958 and worked in Boston for the New England Telephone and Telegraph Co. In 1962 Jim, Marilyn, and their children relocated to Durham, N.C., where he earned a Ph.D. in psychology at Duke University. He went on to teach experimental and cognitive psychology at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, S.C., for 20 years. One of his contributions to the Winthrop community was to bring transcendental meditation to the campus. He retired in 1992.
Jim was an avid runner and rode his bicycle to the Winthrop campus daily. Biking and camping were frequent family activities. He enjoyed reading, walking, going out for coffee, automobile restoration, and spending time on Swan’s Island in Maine.
Jim was predeceased by his daughter Alison Rees Wensil. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; daughters Mary Rees-Nutter and Sarah Rees; grandchildren Larry Wensil, and Moriah and Rebekah Nutter; great-grandchildren Sophia and Liam Wensil; and brother Christopher.