James A. Kaczmarek
March 24, 1939 – December 5, 2023
VISITATION: Tuesday, December 12th from 10am to 11am at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 20500 W. Maple Rd., Elkhorn, followed by MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL at 11am. Memorials are suggested to Siena Francis House. To view a live broadcast of the Mass, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.
James Alex Kaczmarek went to be with our Lord on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. Although his body began to fail him due to severe neuropathy, his mind remained as sharp as ever, and his sense of humor shined through until the very end.
Jim was born in Omaha on March 24, 1939 to Alex and Mary Kaczmarek. He was the oldest child, followed by siblings Kitty, Lex, and Bob. He often told stories of running the neighborhoods of South Omaha with his buddies, throwing water balloons at police cars, walking the rails of the stockyard pens, and creating a bit of havoc. He graduated from South High School in 1957 and went to work at Goodyear Tire & Rubber until 1965. He joined the Army National Guard in 1961 and was a Specialist E-4 in the 867th Engineer Company until he was honorably discharged in 1967. In 1962 he met his beautiful bride, a young nurse named Karen Reardon and they married in February 1965. Daughter Annie was born that November, and Patty came along in October 1968. In 1965 he began working at Glidden Paint where he was in sales until he retired. After retirement, he and Karen moved to Las Vegas, but in 2021 moved back “home” to Omaha to be closer to family.
One of Jim’s greatest joys was being Grandpa to granddaughters Indiga, Merissa, Naeleah, Ilana, Emma, Alaira, and Mathea, and grandsons Hayden, Lucian, Jesse, Thor & Kacz. His face always lit up when they walked in the room. He took pride in helping them with science projects and teaching them things like how to rewire a light switch, how to change the oil, why it’s good to invest in the stock market, and how to properly paint a wall.
Not only did he love to teach, but he loved to learn. After retirement his desire to continue learning led him to Metro Tech Community College where he studied all manner of construction classes and was a few credits shy of becoming a journeyman electrician. Jim was a skilled woodworker. He handcrafted bookshelves, cabinets, desks, decorative boxes and a myriad of other projects, which his family continues to enjoy and treasure.
Another favorite hobby was browsing the estate sales every weekend to search for treasures. He especially loved collecting antique railroad memorabilia; so much so that he could have had his own railroad museum!
His smile, his dry humor, his wisdom, his strength, and even his stubborn nature will be missed greatly, but our memories of him will last a lifetime. We thank you for being part of his life and for joining us to remember him.
Jim is preceded in death by parents Alex & Mary, sister Kitty Patera, and niece Kimberly Patera. He is survived by his wife Karen, daughters Annie and Patty (Maurice), grandchildren Indiga (Zac), Merissa (Daniel), Naeleah, Ilana, Hayden, Lucian, Jesse, Emma, Alaira, Thor, Kacz, and Mathea, siblings Bob (Peggy) and Lex (Bill), nieces and nephews.