Jim passed away peacefully at home under the loving care of his wife Sheila.
He was the son of Rose (Murphy) and Joseph Tebbe. As a young boy, after spending years in a children’s convalescent home battling the effects of rheumatic fever, Jim jumpstarted a lifelong sales career selling fruits and vegetables on the weekends at Findlay Market in Cincinnati. It was there that he was introduced to his future wife, Cecilia Caminiti, by her match-making mother. They were married for forty-two years.
After graduation from Roger Bacon High School, Jim began work at the Gruen Watch Company, where his father worked as a polisher. This led to a long and successful travelling sales career with the Speidel Watch Company, where he drove over 50,000 miles a year selling the famed “Twist-o-Flex” watchbands.
As a traveling salesman, Jim cherished time at home with children Cynthia Nielsen, James Tebbe (Dale) and Jeni Kern. If one of them, or any of his grandchildren, Cari Holm (Mike), Jamie Morgan (Christie), James Maxwell Tebbe, Madison Tebbe, or Luke Kern, had a sporting event, Jim was all in.
Jim’s success in jewelry sales eventually led him to be the co-owner of the South Dakota Gold Company, based out of Rapid City, South Dakota. Drawing inspiration from his night school experiences as an art student at the University of Cincinnati, Jim designed tri-color gold jewelry pieces.
After Cecilia’s unfortunate passing in 1997, Jim filled his days with fishing and golfing. He especially loved Spring Creek in Bonita Springs, Florida, where he spent his retirement, and where his fishing skills earned him the affectionate moniker of “Captain Jim”.
In 2002, Jim met Sheila Sweeney-Klayer, and they were married two years later. Sheila’s sons Colin (Sarah) and Aaron Klayer treasured Jim’s sage advice, friendship and sense of humor.
Jim is survived by his great-grandchildren, Connor and Ian Henry, Charlotte Holm, Cameron, Cayse, Reese and Max Morgan, and grandchildren Charlotte, Evelyn and Colin Klayer.
Jim was preceded in death by his brothers, Raymond and Robert Tebbe, and sisters Mary Shroyer and Kathy Fleissner.
Few met Jim where he didn’t manage to break into a hearty chorus of “Oh Lord, It’s Hard to Be Humble”, even in the last weeks of his life for various caregivers. It was the signature song of a man whose humility endeared him to everyone who crossed his path.
Indeed, it must have been really hard for this much-loved man to be humble.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, Aug 23, 2023, at 6 p.m., at St. Therese Catholic Church, 11 Temple Place, Southgate KY 41071
A Celebration of Life will immediately follow the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at stjude.org