Legal 02


James P. Hecht

January 7, 1935 ~ February 12, 2018 (age 83)

James Perry Hecht's children announce their father's peaceful passing on February 12th, 2018 in Woodstock, IL, his beloved hometown, on Abraham Lincoln's own birthday, his hero. He was surrounded by his loving family, books, pictures, paintings, and music.

A third-generation Woodstock resident, the town he so loved, Jim was an avid jazz musician and aficionado, fly fisherman, traveler, art and book collector, and intellectual. A 1953 Woodstock High School graduate, James P. Hecht graduated Cum Laude with Phi Beta Kappa distinction from Carleton College in Northfield, MN in 1957.  In June 1960, he earned his LL.B. from Yale Law School and was admitted to the Illinois Bar upon which he practiced as attorney at law at his own firm for 53 years on the historic Woodstock Square. As an attorney, he received the preeminent AV rating from his peers for the highest level of legal knowledge, ethical standards, and professional excellence. 

Jim's undergraduate internship at the United Nations in 1956 paved the way for his lifelong adherence to civic duty and interest. Just some of the community projects he helped bring to prosperity through leadership and membership include the Woodstock Opera House, the Bull Valley Association and Garden Clubs, Illinois Migrant Council, Head Start of Woodstock, McHenry County Conservation District and Audubon Society, Woodstock Community Unit School District 200, McHenry County College, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of McHenry County. 

He retired law in 2013 and spent his time with family and friends, fishing in his backyard pond in Woodstock, reading literature, listening to jazz standards and classical music, and soaking in the Midwest landscape and artistry. 

Jim was a cherished, loving, and admired father to his six children. They and their families are forever marked by his essence and star. He was a treasured grandfather with eight adoring grandchildren.  He also leaves with love his brother and sister-in-law,  his life partner and her family, several nieces and nephews, cousins, and a host of life-long friends.

We will be celebrating Jim's magnificent journey on February 24th, 2018 with a 2pm jazz concert at 840 N. Seminary Avenue in Woodstock at Hearthstone Communities to commemorate and acknowledge Jim's vision and commitment as a Founder of Jazz on the Square and as a jazz enthusiast and tenor sax player who brought a jazz scene to Woodstock.

Jim's service at 4:00pm at the Blue Lotus Temple at 221 Dean Street in Woodstock will be the serene and triumphant setting of his life through music, poetry, and laudation.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the McHenry County Conservation Foundation at P.O. Box 1108 Woodstock, IL 60098. The McHenry County Conservation District is an organization Jim helped bring to a bright future to conserve, nourish, and behold McHenry County's natural heritage. 

Condolences may be sent to: The Family of James P. Hecht, c/o Tree of Life UU Congregation 5603 Bull Valley Road McHenry, IL 60050.


Donations may be made to:

McHenry County Conservation Foundation
P.O. Box 1108, Woodstock IL 60098

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