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Behr's Funeral Home

1491 Main Street
PO Box 3009
Dubuque, IA 52004
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Memories & Candles

“We were sorry to hear of Jim's passing. We always enjoyed visiting with Jim at the jewelry store. He always treated us very fairly. We were...Read More »
1 of 21 | Posted by: Steve Kerper - New Vienna, IA

“RIP Jim. I worked with Jim over 27 years ago at Fuller's Jewelers. Jim was always full of life and never let his handicap get in the way. I will...Read More »
2 of 21 | Posted by: Margie Krueger Krabacher - CA

“My Deepest sympathy to the Hefel Family. Jim was a good friend when came too fishing and other activities he enjoyed. I really liked his smiling face...Read More »
3 of 21 | Posted by: Larry Kirschbaum - Dubuque, IA

“My deepest sympathy to the Hefel family. I was a classmate of Jim's at Leo High School, never a dull moment. All though Jim suffered his disability...Read More »
4 of 21 | Posted by: Vincent Clemen - El Paso, TX

“I've had the pleasure of recording Helen and producing the James Martin radio commercials for the last several years - it won't be quite the same...Read More »
5 of 21 | Posted by: Deanna Ploessl - HOLY CROSS, IA

“We were sorry to hear about Jim and you have our deepest sympathy. No matter what the circumstances, it's always hard to lose a loved one. God...Read More »
6 of 21 | Posted by: Susie and Tim Williams - IA

“I will always remember Jim being so good to my Grandma Clara and Grandpa Art. They worked up at the store after they retired - well, they worked to...Read More »
7 of 21 | Posted by: Dawn Ludovissy Goeders - CO

“We are so sad that we cannot be with you at this time. You are in our thoughts and prayers and are filled with so many memories of jim and your mom...Read More »
8 of 21 | Posted by: Richard and Dianne Heim - Dubuque, IA

Audio Memory: Click play to listen

9 of 21 | Posted by: Richard and Dianne Heim - Dubuque, IA

“To Jim's family, when I had heard that he had his last day here on earth I immediately visioned him running through the streets of gold in heaven...Read More »
10 of 21 | Posted by: Cathy

“What a wonderful, generous man. Our sympathy to the entire family. ”
11 of 21 | Posted by: Steve and Tammy Juran

“To Mark "Fritz" and the entire Hefel family - so sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my condolences. Mike Roth ”
12 of 21 | Posted by: mike roth - IA

“I was saddened to hear of Jim's passing. He was one of the kindest, most generous men I ever had the pleasure of meeting. While I didn't work at Jim...Read More »
13 of 21 | Posted by: Jessica Hill O'Neil - Waukesha, WI

“You always had a smile and warm welcome Jim. I don't recall anyone ever saying an unkind word aobut you. I will forever smile, when I look at my...Read More »
14 of 21 | Posted by: Maxi Bebber - N. Buena Vista, IA

“Jim you will be sadly missed by the entire Wagner family..... Bob Wagner, Sr. started our special relationship many years ago... You were always so...Read More »
15 of 21 | Posted by: Tina Wagner - Bellevue, IA

“Our deepest sympathy to the entire Hefel family. We feel so blessed to have shared a part of our lives with such wonderful neighbors. Jim and Rita...Read More »
16 of 21 | Posted by: The Leibold's - Sarasota, FL

“You will souly be missed, you were an all around great guy to look up to, and one heck of a self taught buisness man, i have done buisness with you...Read More »
17 of 21 | Posted by: Ted and Angie Smith - Luxemburg,, IA

“He was a wonderful person. I can remember going to the jewelry store when me, mom and dad would come in from Alabama. That had to be about 15 years...Read More »
18 of 21 | Posted by: Michelle Knockel - Guntersville, AL

“I remember when he took Jeff and I fishing on the pontoon and I brought all this food. Jim said "We are going to catch fish!" I said what if we don't...Read More »
19 of 21 | Posted by: Sherri A Errthum - Buenie, IA

“Jim was SO kind to me, always! I always enjoyed taking him in photos of the children!! ”
20 of 21 | Posted by: Reta and (Jason) Hefel - Creston, IA

“Not a week went by that I didn't think of Jim! Each time I dusted the clock in my office that he gave me on my first day of business. At that time,...Read More »
21 of 21 | Posted by: Joan Knockel - Durango, IA


James E. "Jim" Hefel, age 63, of Dubuque, passed away peacefully at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2013, at his home surrounded by his loving family. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Immaculate Conception Church, North Buena Vista, IA, with Deacon James Pfaffly officiating. To celebrate Jim's life family and friends may visit from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8, 2013, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, where there will be a parish wake service said at 1:30 p.m. Family and friends may also visit from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2013, in North Buena Vista in the Immaculate Conception Church Hall. Burial will be in the North Buena Vista Cemetery.

Jim was born on March 20, 1949, in North Buena Vista, son of Edward and Rita (Ruden) Hefel.

Jim graduated from the former Leo High School in 1967. After graduation he went to work for a construction company and was injured on the job in October of that year. In 1971, he graduated from the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking in New York. While attending school he qualified for and was able to participate in the International Wheelchair Olympics, in the archery division, held in London. James Martin Jewelers was established in 1983, and Jim continued operating the business until 2012. He was a self taught business man who built his success by operating his business with the highest level of integrity. Jim valued his employees and treated them all like family. In 1984, Jim moved to Dubuque, but his heart was always in Buenie. He had a great passion for life and enjoyed and appreciated life to the fullest. He was a great wine maker, always enjoyed a game of Euchre, loved his trips to Vegas, working with wood, road trips, turkey and deer hunting. His greatest joy in life was when he was on his pontoon boat on the Mississippi fishing for crappies and bluegills with his family and friends. Jim enjoyed the many strong friendships he had and his friends meant the world to him.


Jim is survived by his siblings,

Mary (Dave) Breitbach, North Buena Vista, IA,
Roger (Janet) Hefel, North Buena Vista, IA,
Mark "Fritz" (Sue) Hefel, North Buena Vista, IA,
Helen (Richard) Deutmeyer, Luxemberg, IA,
Kay (Bill) Kreeb, Dyersville, IA,
Ann (Tim) Hayes, Dubuque, IA,
Carol (Gary) Wedewer, Petersburg, IA,

23 nieces and nephews,

Ed, Alan, Sherry, Cathy, Denise, Shelly, Jodi, Michael, Tony, Kristie, Matt, Scott, Krystal, Abby, Kara, Brian, Marty, Liz, Samantha, Ben, Jenni, Justin, Wes,

40 great nieces and nephews,

and many special friends.

Jim was preceded in death by his father Edward in 1978, his mother Rita in 2009, and his brother Richard in 1966.

In lieu of flowers a James E. "Jim" Hefel memorial fund has been established.

The family would like to give a special thank you to the staff of Hospice of Dubuque, especially Cindy, Lisa and Jen. A special thank you also to his neighbor Ruth.