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.