Jan 12, 1928 - Nov 16, 2013
Joseph C. Heimes, 85, died of natural causes on November 16, 2013, in Great Falls.
A vigil will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 24, 2013 at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel. A funeral liturgy will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 25, 2013 at St. Ann’s Cathedral with Father Oliver Doyle presiding. Burial will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Joe was born on January 12, 1928, in Billings, Montana to J.J. and Irene Heimes, loving parents, who preceded him in death. He attended Butte High School and graduated from the University of Montana in 1950 with a law degree. Joe then served in the U. S. Army for two years. From 1952 to 1955 he served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Detroit and Los Angeles.
Missing all that the “Big Sky Country” offered, Joe returned to Montana. Soon he was hired by the Jardine, Stephenson, Blewett and Weaver Law firm. During his three-year tenure with the firm, he developed deep friendships which sustained him throughout his life, one of those being his dear friend, George McCabe.
These friendships, however, did little to convince Joe that he was best suited for a legal career. He considered his options, including accepting a position with the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. He cancelled these plans following the advice from a friend that he should consider talking with Jim Snow, Manager, at Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood at that time.
Jim Snow hired Joe as a stock and bond broker. During the following thirty-eight years, Joe made many lasting friendships as financial advisor to people across Montana. Professionally, Joe won the admiration of his peers who depended on his expertise in Montana municipal bond offerings.
In 1960, Joe married Donna Finlen of Butte. In marriage Joe renewed his love of rural Montana, spending vacations at the Finlen property on Rock Creek. Joe and Donna won a reputation as warm, generous and entertaining hosts at their regular weekend ranch parties. Professionally successful and surrounded by the charms of nature, dogs and horses, and with Donna at his side, Joe was living the dream. The dream faded, however, when Donna died at an early age in 1974. Although small comfort for his loss, in Donna’s memory, Joe continued to support the care of animals in need.
When Joe retired in 1997, he still retained an interest in the careers of his peers and friends. His one-time assistant at Piper Jaffray, Connie Zech, helped him in his professional projects. Connie was like a daughter to Joe. She supported him through illness, helped plan his personal affairs, accompanied him on vacations to Ireland, Scotland and England and often joined Joe at Saint Ann’s Cathedral for Tuesday and Sunday Mass. Together with Connie, her family and her parents, Joe spent many happy holidays here in Great Falls and in Arizona. Connie was dedicated to ensuring that Joe’s every need was met as he commenced his journey with Alzheimer’s disease. Joe never fully recovered from Connie’s death in 2008.
When Joe’s health problems required constant attention, Connie’s friends began to provide his full-time care. Elishah Moore led this compassionate and caring group of ladies. Together they took incredible care of Joe’s every need, spiritually, emotionally and physically, for the next eight years. This group of ladies included Elishah’s mother and sister, Laurie Moore and Mariyah Kacludis, as well as Cheryl Gerdrum and Sue McLean.
Joe’s devotion to God was clear, with his presence at Saint Ann’s Cathedral every Saturday evening throughout his many years in Great Falls. He and “his” Father Oliver were fast friends. Father Oliver, the Pastor at St. Ann’s, continued their close friendship with frequent visits to Joe’s home until the very end of Joe’s life. The memory of Joe lives on through his Christian generosity.
Memorials in Joe’s name may be made to St. Ann’s Cathedral Restoration Fund, 715 3rd Ave. N., Great Falls, MT 59401, or the University of Great Falls, 1301 20th Str. S., Great Falls, MT 59405, or the Alzheimer’s Association, Montana Chapter, 3010 11th Ave. No., Billings, MT 59101.
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