Cover photo for James Edward Hefner's Obituary
James Edward Hefner Profile Photo
1928 James 2023

James Edward Hefner

August 8, 1928 — January 25, 2023


James Edward Hefner, 94, of Athens, passed away on January 25, 2023. He was the son of the late E.E. and Lillie Hefner of Hendersonville, NC.

After completing high school, Jim was employed for two years by the FBI in Washington D.C. serving on a team searching records for evidence of Communist activity, a project resulting from hearings of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. Already a military reservist, after two years he went on active duty in the U.S. Navy Air Force base at Anacostia, D.C., and served two years as an aerial photographer, prompting a hobby that he pursued his entire life. The Hefner family was extremely proud of the son's military commitment. All five sons and the grandson, reared in the home, served.

George was enlisted in the Navy, served two years on a small Pacific Island station which transmitted radio signals to passing U.S. ships. Reid, a Marine, participated in three Pacific Island landings and was severely wounded on Guadalcanal. Bob, served in the Army in the United States on two bases training fighter pilots how to work on their planes. Charles, enlisted in the Army and was killed in Normandy after surviving the 2nd landing for nearly five weeks.

Jim served in the Navy for two years in the U.S. Base at Anacostia DC. He withdrew his request for sea duty at his mother’s request after the military deaths of two sons of the family. Ivan, a grandson reared in the home since birth, was an Army Medic who was killed on a Korean battlefield.

After two years’ service, Jim entered the University of Georgia and earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and later at the University of Washington, Seattle, earned a Master of Public Administration. Jim was employed by the U.S. Forest Service working in Macon, GA, Denver, CO, Seattle, WA, Asheville, NC, Atlanta GA and Boise, ID. After 21 years of service, he retired to Athens.

On June 10, 1954, he married the love of his life, the former Andrée Coile of Athens. The family was later completed by Brian, who passed away in 2009, and by Neil two and a half years later. Survivors include Jim’s wife, Andrée, his daughter-in-law, Beth, of Gainesville, GA and her children Ben (Jenny) of Norcross, GA and Elle of Rising Fawn, GA and his son Neil (Kristi) of Athens and their children Garrison of Aiken, SC, Riley and Lily of Athens. Also surviving is the remaining sibling of seven children, Mary Ann Owen (Joseph) of Columbus, NC and many nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, February 4 2023 at 3:00 PM at the chapel of Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, EAST, Athens. The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:00 PM at the funeral home.

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, EAST, Athens, is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Edward Hefner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 4, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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