Jim (Jimmer) Reddekopp, a dear friend of my wife, passed away recently. Jimmer and his family owned and operated the Hawaiian Vanilla Co. farm/restaurant in Hawaii. Our family visited once, and it was one of the most memorable vacation experiences I’ve ever had–and a big part of that was dear Jimmer. He was a positive force of nature. So enthusiastic about life, his family, his work, and his faith. A dear human being. Inconceivable that he’s gone. Below is the announcement made by his wife Tracy.
Jim (Jimmer) Reddekopp passed away at 9:34 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, 2/14/20.
On 1.15.20 he was medevaced to Queen’s on Oahu and we were told his heart could not tolerate any more treatment. He was released again into hospice care. We hired a plane to fly him home. Snow had fallen on Mauna Kea and we moved him into the living room, first by the kitchen so he could be a part of everything we did, then near the fireplace and looking out to the ocean which he loved so. We spent the last 3 weeks of his life taking care of him, singing with him, praying over him, loving on him, trying to get him to stop working—he was constantly reminding us of things that needed to be done! We reassured him that we had it all taken care of and for him to focus on resting. We had many good, deep conversations, he said many wonderful things, refused pain medication for the most part and the day he pulled out his oxygen he belted out a song none of us had heard before, holding notes so long as if to show us he did not need the oxygen. He was so loving, thankful, sweet, smiling all the time and never complained. I was with him as he took his last few breaths which were these big deep breaths and I said,’ Wow, those are some good ones! You must be working something out!” He exhaled and didn’t inhale. Death was truly our last adventure together and I was so privileged to do both life and death with him. He loved big, lived big and his death was truly a glorious time and I got to watch him wade farther and farther from shore until it was too deep, and I couldn’t go with him.
All my children were near and came right over. Emma had just finished taking a group on a 4-island tour and her plane landed at 9:30 p.m. He died 4 minutes later. I knew he was waiting for her to land safely. We all had such a beautiful life with him. God never said we wouldn’t have difficulties and I am so glad He gave us all time to prepare. We were able to live each day so fully, and we still have very good, full lives, filled so good to overflowing–so thankful for all he built. It gives us great comfort and peace that we know God took him home and that he is in a much better place and that we will see him again. I look so forward to that day.
That night as I got into bed, I read my evening devotional in my Daily Light and the final scripture was, “I am my beloved, and my beloved is mine”, Song of Songs 6:3. This is the scripture that is on his wedding ring. God wrote a beautiful action-adventure/rom-com with this man and we got to be a part of it. So very grateful.
Until God directs us otherwise, we, as a family, are continuing on in the good work that he has left us to do, both running the farm, hosting our lunches and farm tours on a limited basis and taking a few guests around the islands. Emma and I will be taking a group on a 3-island tour at the end of March. We are very grateful for all that we have and will do our very best to fill some of the very large space that he has left in all of our lives.
We will be having a celebration of his life on April 4 at 4 p.m. at the Town Hall in Waimea.