James Fairgrieve Swensen died suddenly on Friday, March 10 at his home in Scotch Plains, N.J. He was 50.

Born in Washington, D.C., he had most recently lived in Scotch Plains. James received his master’s degree in arts from Indiana University and also studied at Sorbonne University in Paris, where he became fluent in French. He also lived in Chile, Mexico and Spain, where he became fluent in Spanish. He loved to travel the world and took in new experiences everywhere he went. He would visit museums, and appreciated art and music. He was an avid collector of art T-shirts, and would pick them up on his many trips to Europe, especially in London and Paris. He enjoyed travelling with his daughters and keeping busy exploring the world, but he also appreciated a good nap, and curling up with his girls on the couch and taking a snooze.

Each year the family would travel up to Martha’s Vineyard, where he loved to swim. He would swim with his girls, pretending to be a shark, and enjoyed hearing them laugh and play. He could also frequently be found going out for ice cream on the Vineyard.

He worked for the past few years at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Westfield, N.J., teaching Latin and math. He was always a very social person, and had a special connection with children. He would never turn down a party, but also loved time spent quietly at home with the family. Each Sunday he would enjoy French toast in the morning and filet mignon and mashed potatoes for dinner.

James is survived by his loving wife, Orna Mohabir Swensen, and his twin girls, whom he adored, Amber and Claire. He is also survived by his mother, Jean Swensen; his twin brother, Robert Swensen, and his wife, Elena; his sister, Audrey Phillips, and her husband, Michael; his brother in law, Julian Mohabir, and his wife, Nazeela; and his sisters in law, Romena Saunders and her husband, Frederick, and Ingrid McNulty and her husband, Christopher. He will be missed by his many nieces and nephews, and a large group of close friends.

Visitation will take place on Friday, March 17 at 4 to 9 p.m. at Memorial Funeral Home, 155 South avenue in Fanwood, N.J. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, March 18 at 10 a.m. at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 229 Cowperthwaite Place in Westfield. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in support of the Swensen Twins. Envelopes will be provided at the funeral home.