James Keith ³Grumpy² Heppner died Sunday Aug. 14, 2005 of a sudden heart attack. He was 67 years old. Jim was born June 28, 1938 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. He was a resident of the Sealy/San Felipe area for near 20 years. He was Ranch Manager at Runaway Farms at the time of his death. Jim is survived by his daughters Chari-Lynne Williams from the hills of East Tennessee, and Heather Lea Heppner who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also survived by Chari-Lynne¹s daughter¹s Emma-Gene (11) and Ruby-Nell (5) Williams. Jim¹s surviving siblings include: Arlene Everett of Michigan, Linda Slawinski of McCreary, Manitoba, Ken Heppner of Pilot Mound, Manitoba, and Kim Heppner of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. Jim was preceded in death by his parents Susan (nee Penner) and more recently Jacob Heppner. He was also preceded by his brother Barry, and, in 1974, his daughters¹ mother Alice Emogene (nee Doverspike) Heppner. Jim loved to travel and tell stories. He left the nest at 16 to build aircraft and learn to fly. He worked as a bush pilot, air traffic controller, and crop-duster before flying for Air America in Vietnam. Later, married and raising a family, he tried selling hardwoods, and bored quickly with corporate life. Always a builder and innovator, he traveled as a construction contractor in the energy and timber business nationally during the 70s and 80s. Later, Jim tried his luck as a pig farmer in Arkansas. Jim was known more recently in Sealy/San Felipe as ³the man who could fix or build anything², ranch manager, and a friend to animals, old people and small children. Jim was a serious student of the Bible and enjoyed a simple life with Christ. He was also very fond of old-time gospel and string-band music. He wrote poetry, and loved to garden. He grew up hunting, trapping and fishing, and longed to learn more, do more, and enjoy leisure time as he grew older. At 67, Jim¹s life and opportunities were sadly cut short. He worked until the day he died. He is dearly missed. Therewas a drop-in informal gathering after 5 p.m., Thursday Aug. 25 at Runaway Farms, 2138 Peters San Felipe Road, Sealy. Donations or floral arrangements should be directed Schmidt Funeral Home in Bellville.
Posted by Joy Neely