James was welcomed into the arms of Jesus on March 20, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born to Edward Cecil and Frances Elizabeth Wolsch on July 27, 1948, in Austin, Texas. He graduated from McCallum High School, where he was a member of the FFA in 1967. His love for all animals and strays continued throughout his life. After high school, he worked for Bettis TV and enlisted in the Army and National Guard.
James had a remarkable career as an undercover narcotics officer and senior patrolman for the Austin Police Department. He was a member of the 42nd cadet class and was commissioned on March 26, 1971. He served the Austin area for 24 years before retiring in 1995 and was given the name “Stoopdown” by the local drug dealers. He was picked to receive the 15th annual Police Service Award presented by PARADE and the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1980, along with many other distinguished awards throughout his career. He was known as a very honest undercover officer, which was rare for the time. He gained the respect of other officers, drug dealers, and informants in town. James was also very loyal to his friends, especially those that took the same risks he did and whom he depended on to cover his back, both in his work in narcotics and as a uniform patrol officer. He never feared anyone! He accounted for 50% of all the narcotics cases in the department and 25% of the other cases handled by the other seven narcotics officers. James became the first K-9 handler for the Austin Police Department Narcotics Division and worked alongside “Jack the Ripper” and other K-9’s for many years at the Austin Airport. He finished his career on Walking Beat in downtown Austin. After he retired, he pursued a career in private investigating, where he worked with several prominent local law firms for many years.
James loved hunting and fishing in his spare time with family and friends. There are too many stories to tell about all the trips taken over the years. He cherished time with his grandchildren and also introduced them to hunting and fishing. He became quite the deer processor in his kitchen over the years. James was the messiest man you would ever know, but we are honored to have known and loved him. We proudly call James our husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend.
He is survived by his loving wife, Wanda; his son John Wolsch and wife, Melissa; his daughters, Nicole Duncan and husband, Wayde; and Brittany Howard and husband, James. He has seven grandchildren; Darryl Duncan, Travis Duncan, Amanda Armstrong, Coy Duncan, Carson Wolsch, Kinsley Howard, and Greyson Howard. He has six great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, dear friends, and extended family.
He is preceded in death by Frances Elizabeth Wolsch (Mother), Edward Cecil Wolsch (Father), and Mary Frances Clendening (Sister).
A memorial service is scheduled for 2:00 PM on Monday, April 3, 2023, at North Way Bible Church, 589 San Gabriel Pkwy Leander, TX 78641.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Texas Fallen Officer Foundation.