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.