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James “Jim” Hess

October 6, 2022

James “Jim” Howard Hess, 76, passed away unexpectedly on October 6, 2022, at his home in Newton, Kansas.

He was born on November 17, 1945, in New York, New York, the son of August “Jimmy” and Joan (Decker) Hess.

At the age of seventeen, Jim joined the United States Army. He proudly served his country as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the 101st Airborne for 3 years and in the Special Forces Reserved Unit in Denver, Co.  Following his honorable discharge, he joined the Wichita Police Department for a short period of time.  He decided to change jobs and went to work for Trans World Airlines (TWA) so he could travel.  He eventually settled in Denver, Colorado and began working for Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.  In 1977 he joined the Denver Police Department where he worked patrol, TAK bike (motorcycle) division then was promoted to Detective.  He was a hostage negotiator, appeared in Crime Stopper commercials and on several episodes of Unsolved Mysteries, Perry Mason & Father Dowling.  Jim retired in 2003 so he could travel and enjoy the things he wanted to do.

After Jim retired, he visited a friend in Thailand for two weeks. Once he got back from his trip, he sold his beloved cabin in the mountains, most of his belongings and moved to Thailand for the next 9 years.  When in Thailand, he met many law enforcement retirees from all over the world while volunteering with Pattaya Police Department, Thailand.   He met the love of his life on 10/6/2004 while working out at the gym in Pattaya, Thailand.  Jim and Praew were united in marriage in 2012 in Newton, Kansas. The couple had many adventures in Thailand and the United States.

Jim loved staying active and was a familiar face at the YMCA.  He was always excited to try new work out routines and see his friends at the Y.  He was a fierce protector of his family and always told everyone to listen to their “gut instincts” because they were always right!  If he couldn’t be with his family in person, he always wanted pictures so he could experience other’s moments and be a part of the fun.

Jim is survived by his wife, Praew Hess, beloved Bernedoodle, Lucy & Ringneck Parakeet, Kirby; children, Angela (Luke) Schmidt of Newton, Jason (Ghen) Hess Seale, AL; Chris (Tammy) Drouhard Winfield; John (June) Szakara Hamilton, MT; Holly Hess, Wichita; and sister, Leslie (Ken) Bibb; and many grandchildren, family and friends.

A memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N. Main, Newton, Kansas.

Jim would want casual wear to the service to include tactical pants, cargo shorts and jackets/vests because according to him you can never have enough pockets!

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations go to the Caring Hands Humane Society or the Newton YMCA.

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24 thoughts on “James “Jim” Hess

  1. Jim was always kind and friendly when he was my neighbor growing up on Moore St in Westminster Colorado. My brother and I were close friends to his children Angie and Jason, and will always remember how wonderful of a man he was. Rest in peace Jim!

  2. I worked with Jim in the Tactical Motorcycle Unit. With Jim we got many arrests during a shift-but it was always filled with laughter. He was easy going and you knew Jim always had your back. He was a great guy. Heaven will e a better place because of him

  3. Jim and I worked together in the Detective Bureau. He was a great detective and I thought he should have been an actor.

  4. Jim & I had some great cruise trips together. Spent alot of time sight seeing in the Western and Eastern Carribean. I’ll always his laugh and zest for life. God Bless Jim.

  5. Jim and I were in the same class at the Denver Police Academy in 1977. If I remember correctly he was the most senior recruit in our class with a lot of experience and wisdom. He passed that along to the younger newbies, me being one of them. He was a good cop but more importantly he was a great man. May you Rest In Peace my brother.

  6. Jim and I were partners in the Tac M/C Unit for a couple of yrs and I of course have some funny stories. This is a shock, Jim always stayed in great shape. We stayed in touch all these yrs. He was a good partner and a good policeman.

  7. I worked with and around Jim while in the D.P.D. Tactical M/C Unit. Always was a good friend and fun to be around. He was always confident , good natured and a well respected cop.
    May he Rest In Peace with The Lord.

  8. I had the pleasure of working with Jim as partners in both District Two and ESCORT, and then again in the Assault Detail. Every night was a blast and lots of good police work. Rest In Peace my friend.

  9. We met Butch thru his lovely sister, Leslie, while he and Praew visited Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.
    He was so easy to talk with, shared stories and some delicious Thai home cooked favorites.
    He will be missed by his family and friends.

  10. Jim was a tremendous person. Friendly to everyone and always ready to help. The guy looked like a movie star! Rest easy brother. Bob Organ

  11. I didn’t know until tonight that Jim had gone to meet up with God and Jesus. I had just talked to Jim on the 3rd and several days before that, and he said he was doing fine now after his fight against his Cancer, and we kept up with one another ever since I and he retired. He was real good friends with my late partner and brother, Michael Staskin, and he took it hard when Mike passed. We called each other brothers. He wished me luck with my upcoming surgery on my discs in my neck because they are clamping down on my spinal cord and he gave me encouragement. I’m devastated about his passing, but I know that is how life is. Jim is in a better and special place and has no pain and worries anymore. Jim was a great man, friend, and great fellow Detective. Rest in peace my brother and thank you for all the good wishes and encouragements you gave me throughout the years of my medical problems, which you heard of and would contact me about.

  12. Jim was a good friend. We met at the YMCA in Newton, KS. He always loved to share his stories of being a cop. He enjoyed life to the fullest. Jim inspired me to be a cop myself and was very encouraging throughout my academy. I will definitely miss this great friend and mentor. J. Million

  13. I served with Jim in the Special Forces unit and in District two. I even bought insurance from him when he started in that business. He was a good friend and always someone you could depend on. Gone much too soon.

  14. I worked with Jim at the Jeff. Co. Sherriff’s Dep’t. back in the mid 70’s!! What a great guy!! May he rest in peace!!

  15. Rest In Peace Uncle Butch! His sister Leslie married my dad when I was 6, so he has always been uncle Butch to me! The entire Hess family was a blessing to us!

  16. I remember Jim from the detective unit when in detective training in 1995. We worked together in thefts. He was then in the district four detective unit where I worked patrol and saw him regularly. His name is still in the ceiling there above where he desk was. Great detective and person.

  17. October 12, 2022
    john alamshaw wrote a sympathy message
    “My deepest condolences to Jim’s family. I met Jim almost 25 years ago at a robbery conference in Breckenridge Co. and we became instant friends. Even though living in different states we remained good friends throughout the years. We met several times in Las Vegas (Jim liked the craps table) and I visited Jim a few times in Thailand. I will miss our emails and calls, especially the political ones. Jim was a true patriot and a good friend ! John Alamshaw Phoenix, Az”

  18. Really sorry to hear about Jim, only had an email a few days before Jim passed away telling me about the good news he received about his cancer. I met Jim in Pattaya, Thailand when I joined the Foreign Police Volunteers. We instantly got on very well and worked well together and had quite a few beers, along with other chaps from the FPV after shifts. Jim returned to the US and later I went home to the UK and we kept in touch ever since, many photo’s of Praew, and also his grandkids that he was so proud of and also the dog were emailed to me. Jim, you were a great mate, will be missed. God bless you.

  19. I knew and worked with Jim in Thailand as part of the Foreign Volunteer Police. He frequently told how Praew was the love of his life. We shared a lot of drinks and stories and he will be sorely missed. If I had to describe Jim I would simply say that “he was a gentlemen of impeccable integrity”. Rest in peace.

  20. Jim & I worked together on Wichita PD & were 2 single officers on & off duty AND Jim was BEST man @ my wedding 53 yrs ago—I called him frequently and like all, shocked to know of his passing ! You made many friends who will all miss you buddy—RIP-

  21. Your family, friends & co-workers will always remember you-your values, ethics, goals and friendship had no boundaries—-
    We all miss you ! RIP Buddy !

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