JoAnn Hilgenkamp

JoAnn Hilgenkamp

June 24, 1948 – May 16, 2021

With profound sadness we announce the passing of JoAnn Hilgenkamp, a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to all whose lives she touched, on May 16, 2021.

She was born to the late Chester and Norma McKenzie, June 24, 1948, in Omaha, NE and eldest of 11 siblings.  JoAnn graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1966. She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude receiving a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1984.  JoAnn worked as a software development manager for most of her career. She enjoyed her work with computers and managing large teams of developers.  During early retirement she worked as a counselor for an abuse hotline which suited her servant heart.

JoAnn married James Hilgenkamp on April 3, 2004 at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Omaha.  She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed preparing meals for her family and friends, most especially over the holidays.  She loved family traditions, working on interior design projects, laughing, playing with her grandkids, and traveling.  JoAnn loved to dance.  In fact, that is where she met the love of her life, James.

JoAnn thoroughly enjoyed building Leprechaun traps for St. Patty’s day with her granddaughter Shelby, cheering on basketball games and baking tons of yummy goodies with her granddaughter Caitlyn and going to computer camp with her grandson Dylan.  JoAnn’s husband James a.k.a “Honeyman”, was an Engineer with OPPD. They went on many adventures together, traveling within the US and overseas.  The center of JoAnn’s life was her family.  She cherished time with her girls Shelley and Janelle and their families.  She found a place to worship and serve at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Omaha, NE and enjoyed being a teacher every summer for Vacation Bible School. She loved animals and they were drawn to her; she always had a head scratch or belly rub for her fur grandbabies. JoAnn also had an incredibly special group of friends who met regularly for brunch, girl talk, support, and laughter.  Anyone who was a friend of JoAnn knew they had a friend for life, she had the best heart.

JoAnn was a living example of Ephesians 4:32 — “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”

She is survived by her loving husband and best friend, James; her loving and supportive daughters, Shelley (husband, Dave) Lessig, Janelle (husband Jesse) Hardy of Omaha; stepchildren, Colton (wife Erica) Hilgenkamp of Priairieville, LA, and Devin Hilgenkamp of Chicago, IL.; grandchildren: Dylan Lessig, Caitlyn Lessig, Shelby Hardy; step grandchild, Oliver LeRouge of Prairieville, LA.

VISITATION observing CDC guidelines: Sunday, May 23rd from 5pm to 7pm at the Heafey Hoffmann Funeral Home, 7805 W Center Road.  FUNERAL SERVICE: Monday, May 24th at 10:30am at the Heafey Hoffmann Funeral Home.  There will be a luncheon immediately after the service followed by a 2:00 pm burial at Omaha National Cemetery, 14250 Schram Road, Omaha, NE.   Memorials are suggested to the Open Door Mission or Kidney Cancer Association (KCA).

To view live broadcasts of the Funeral and Graveside Services, please go to and click on the “View Live Cast” button on our home page.



  • Brenda Kastens Posted May 17, 2021 8:56 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. JoAnne brought joy and light into every room she walked in to. I will miss her terribly and am grateful to have been her friend.

  • Cindy Sundeen Posted May 18, 2021 7:09 am

    I can’t begin to find the words to express my sympathy to JoAnne’s family. She was the greatest friend ever, a wonderful wife to Jim, mother to Shelley and Janelle, and grandmother to her 3 grandchildren. I knew her 36 years! I was so blessed to know her.

  • Mardee Collingham Posted May 20, 2021 10:51 am

    Jim, Janelle and Shelley, it is like a bright light has gone out. I am so sorry for your lost but glad her suffering is over and she is at peace. I am one of the lucky ones to have been able to count her as my friend.

  • Carol Anderson Posted May 24, 2021 1:32 pm

    My heart goes out to JoAnn’s family. We retired from MACC at nearly the same time. I considered her a dear friend.

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