Cover photo for Debra Hecht James's Obituary
Debra Hecht James Profile Photo

Debra Hecht James

April 15, 1954 — January 28, 2021

Debra Hecht James

A recording will appear following the services. Thank you.


Debbie died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, January 28th, 2021, succumbing to a multi-year battle with cancer.

She was born in Mankato on April 15th, 1954 to parents Frank and Margaret Hecht.

Debbie will be remembered as a loving mother, a beloved grandmother, a little sister, and a caring friend. She was outgoing, fun-loving, and strong-willed, and although she was taken from us too early, she managed to live a life fuller than anyone could hope for.

She had a passion for boating that saw her regularly cruising Lake Washington, where she lived, the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers, and the Pacific Ocean along the Mexican coast, where she spent her winters.

Debbie had a passion for the 4th of July, the USA, and all things red, white, and blue. She was also a lifelong animal lover rarely seen without a four-legged companion by her side, a devotion that led to her instrumental role in the fundraising campaign to build the BENCHS animal shelter. Skiing, golfing, and traveling were other joys she found in life, and she never missed an opportunity to take in the sunset.

She is survived by her sons, Tony and Trevor (Connie) James; grandsons, Emmett and Graeme James; her sisters, Gwen Thompson, Marge Leiferman, and Brenda (Ernie) Chupp; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Judith Stoll; and her parents.

She was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.


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


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