James A. Taphorn

James A. Taphorn

October 6, 1936 – August 18, 2020


Jim is survived by wife, Joan; children: Ann Schroeder (Patrick), Lisa Abbick, John Taphorn, Amy Mauck (Chad) and the Rev. Joseph Taphorn; grandchildren: Ben, Joe, Isaac, Nick and Emma Schroeder, Ellie and Grace Abbick, Sam, Noah and Ryan Mauck; sisters: Clara Sibenaller, Joan Smith, Sr. Janet Taphorn OSF, Irene Rethman and Lois Galles (John).  Jim was preceded in death by parents, John and Helen Taphorn; brothers, Walter, Werner, Ray and Robert Taphorn; and sisters, Rita Schulte and Marian Roeder.

Hailing from a farm near Odebolt, Iowa Jim attended Creighton University in Omaha.  During these years he met his future bride Joan, who at the time was a young nurse at the VA Hospital.  They wed at St. Cecilia Cathedral on August 26, 1961.  Jim and Joan raised five children and were founding members of Mary Our Queen Parish in Omaha.  There he was part of the Knights of Columbus Council and volunteered as a money counter.  Later in life, Jim served in leadership roles in various Church organizations: the Archdiocese of Omaha, the Serra Club of Omaha, the Institute of Priestly Formation (IPF), and Spirit Catholic Radio.  An entrepreneur and small business man, he served as a volunteer after his retirement, keeping regular office hours at IPF, Spirit Catholic Radio, and the St. John Paul II Newman Center.  Many Catholic organizations and countless individuals in the area benefited from his service and philanthropy and were touched by his kindness and generosity.

Jim loved life and especially his beloved wife of nearly 59 years, his five children and in-laws, and ten grandchildren.  Favorite family memories are sailing vacations to Lake Okoboji, Iowa and skiing the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  He also enjoyed international travels: with Joan to visit the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico City and to Rome.  Later, he and his son Fr. Joe made several pilgrimages: to Germany, Ireland and Spain, culminating in 2009 with his last overseas trip, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land sponsored by Spirit Catholic Radio, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

In the last several years Jim’s health noticeably declined, eventually leading to a diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia and definitive retirement from his life of active volunteering.  Still, he could both give and receive love.  In this last year of his life he received excellent care as a resident initially of the Rose Blumkin Home and then at Brookestone Village, with the assistance of caregivers from Care Consultants.  The family is grateful to all who served Jim with tenderness and compassion.  He will be greatly missed by his family and many in the Omaha community.

“For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Rom. 14:8-9).

VIGIL SERVICE: Friday, August 21st, 7 pm, Christ the King Catholic Church (654 S. 86th St.), preceded by VISITATION following CDC guidelines from 5 pm to 7 pm.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, August 22nd, 1:30 pm, Mary Our Queen Catholic Church (3405 S. 118th St.)  INTERMENT: Calvary Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Spirit Catholic Radio, the Institute for Priestly Formation, and the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

To view a live broadcast of the Vigil, Mass, and Graveside Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the View Live Service button on our homepage.




  • Ann and Jon Kopecky Family Posted August 20, 2020 7:15 am

    We and all at SPS are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers

  • Kou Ly Posted August 20, 2020 8:21 am

    I am sorry for your loss. May James’ soul rest in peace and may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts during this hard time.

  • Joan O’Keefe Posted August 20, 2020 2:54 pm

    Sincere condolences and prayers to Joan and her their children. May Jim’s soul Rest In Peace.

  • Dave and Mary Lux Posted August 20, 2020 8:52 pm

    So sorry for your loss. We will keep Jim and your family in our prayers.

  • Michael Taphorn Posted August 20, 2020 8:53 pm

    So sorry to hear of Uncle Jim’s passing. Condolences to Joan and the entire family. He will be missed.

  • TOM AND SHARON O’BRIEN Posted August 21, 2020 9:19 am


  • Fr. John Burger Posted August 21, 2020 12:56 pm

    On behalf of all the Columban Fathers here in Bellevue, I wanted to send our condolences to the Taphorn family at this time of grief. May the Lord be standing by your side in the coming days.

    Fr John

  • Connie Trom Posted August 21, 2020 7:02 pm

    Deepest sympathy to you. How blessed you were to call him Husband/dad/grandpa. I’ll be watching with love

  • Amy “Barnes-Smith” Vance Posted August 21, 2020 7:17 pm

    John, I’m sorry to hear of your fathers passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Diane Flynn Posted August 22, 2020 9:42 am

    Fr. Taphorn,
    I am sorry to learn of your father’s passing. May the wonderful memories of time spent with him sustain you and all members of your family in the days to come. His example of service lives in you and I am sure it is reflected in your entire family. You and he are in my prayers.

  • Mary (McMahon) MacMillan Posted August 22, 2020 2:28 pm

    I was so sorry to hear of Mr. Taphorn’s passing. When I was the “babysitter” for the kids a long time ago, he and Mrs. Taphorn were always so kind and such great parents. My prayers are with the family at this sad time.

  • LuAnn Lunkenheimer Knobbe Posted August 23, 2020 7:05 pm

    Sorry to hear about your Dad. I taught Lisa and her brother at MOQ and I grew up in Odebolt , Iowa.
    May he rest in peace.

  • Lesa and William Lindsay, Jr. Posted August 23, 2020 9:45 pm

    Bill and I were both so blessed to have known Joan and Jim Taphorn. I had the privilege of working with him at Care-a-thons at the radio station which was always a joy… he served with diligence giving his all to the work of Christ in the world. I will greatly miss his oftentimes mischievous smile and infectious laughter… and remember with great fondness his bubble wrap celebrations at the closings of Care-a-thons! Go with God “Mr. Taphorn” as everyone called him with affection. We pray Christ’s peace and comfort for Joan and the rest of the family during these challenging times.

  • Denise Pratt Posted August 24, 2020 8:23 am

    I went to college with Fr. Joe. Sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was a good man and a witness to many. May he rest in God’s peace.

  • Mary Ellen Auffert Posted August 24, 2020 5:25 pm

    I send my sympathy and prayers to Joan, Ann, Father Joe and all. What a blessed life he had. Jim used his talents and gifts to build up the Body of Christ in so many ways. He certainly made a difference in the world. The services were very beautiful, Father Joe. I know they could not be any other way. What a blessing!
    Sister Mary Ellen Auffert, OSB

  • Joan & Bruce Prenosil Posted August 29, 2020 2:26 pm

    Bruce & I were blessed to know Jim Taphorn. We became aquainted at KVSS Spirit Catholic Radio. Bruce produced the “Faith Alive” programs there and I helped out with the Care-a-thons. Jim was a hard -working, fun-loving guy! Our thoughts and Prayers continue for Joan, Fr. Joe, and the whole family. God bless!

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