The family of James Hesse created a memorial website for him on Ever Loved: https://everloved.com/life-of/james-hesse/
On July 27, 2023, James Robert (Jim) Hesse
of University Park, FL took his last breath surrounded by his family after a difficult battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He is survived by his wife Susan (Suebee) Hesse, sons Peter Hesse of Oak Hill, VA, and Bill Hesse of Olympia, WA, brother Peter Hesse of Glenwood Landing, NY, brother George Hesse of Homosassa, FL, and sister Patricia Smith of Felton, DE, as well as five grandchildren, a host of nieces and nephews, and many beloved lifelong friends. Jim was predeceased by his youngest brother John and his first wife Patricia.
Jim was born May 22, 1944 as the second of six children in Glen Cove, New York. Amidst a difficult home situation, Jim and his older brother Peter helped raise their younger siblings. At the age of 13 he took a job making fur coats during high school to help support his family.
Jim served his country with honor and dignity from 1965 to 2005. From 1965-1967, Jim served in the US Army stationed at Fort Benning, GA where he attained the rank of Specialist 4th Class. Upon his return from Fort Benning, he began his career in the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as an immigration inspector at JFK Airport in New York. Through hard work and willingness to take on extra duties and work additional hours, he worked his way up to Assistant Port Director, making many cherished lifelong friends along the way.
His dedication to his mission paved the way to a major career advancement when he became one of the original members of the INS’s Forensic Document Laboratory in McLean, VA in 1985, and he and his family relocated to Great Falls, VA. Jim became a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security when it was established in 2003. He retired from the INS in 2005 as Chief Intelligence Officer and was widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on document security and analysis, traveling the world to train others in techniques to spot fraudulent documents well into retirement.
Jim had the love and support of two wonderful women during his lifetime. His first wife Patti, mother to his sons, was tragically lost to cancer in 1997 at the age of 47. Jim married Suebee in 2001, who helped him transition into the next chapter of life. They moved to Florida together and enjoyed golfing, socializing, and traveling until Jim’s battle with Parkinson’s became all-consuming.
Jim had an enormous heart and a world-class sense of humor, and was kind to everyone he encountered. His lifelong commitment to his career made the world a safer place. He truly loved all his friends and family, and never left a room without leaving a positive impression. Jim will be remembered fondly by friends and colleagues all around the world.
Jim will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. If you wish to make a memorial donation in Jim’s honor, the family welcomes donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (https://www.michaeljfox.org/
), or to Tidewell Hospice (https://tidewellhospice.org/
) which provided him excellent and loving care in his final days.