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Passing of Jim Pfieffer, Jan  2006

Friday 13th saw a tragedy in the extended Deamer family - Jim Pfieffer, husband to Sherna's sister Bonnie went missing, and was found drowned in a creek on the Marin Headlands some 25 hours later.

Photo: Jim Pfieffer (right) and son, Michael Pfieffer at the family's Christmas party.

Bonnie's email to friends in Kenya gives the details:
Hough, Bonnie" <Bonnie.Hough@_____> wrote:
Dear B______,
I'm so sorry to have to tell you that our beloved Jimmy passed away on Friday evening. He was taking a walk with Maxwell in a very beautiful area that he had just found near our house. It is in a National Park on the cliffs near the ocean. It appears that it may have gotten dark on the walk and he got a little lost.
I got home and realized that he was gone after dark with Max and went to the area that he told me the trail was in. We were supposed to go walking on it this weekend and walk all along the ocean to the next town. It was dark and had started to rain. Luckily the police came quickly and went with park rangers to try to find him. They then brought in helicopters with bright heat-seeking lights. They found a deer but no Jim. Bryn came to join me and we walked on the paths we thought he might have taken. Bryn and my brother Bill stayed with me all night as we tried to find him and answer questions from the park rangers to help them find Jim.

At about 2 am they called special "search and rescue" volunteers who are trained to find people who get lost in nature or have other misadventures. They started coming right away. They were very organized and made copies of special maps, a "missing person" notice with a picture of Jim and me in South Africa, and made sure that people knew where to search and didn't duplicate efforts.
There were 170 volunteers looking for him all day - some people came from over 100 miles away to help. Some looked for him on the beaches and cliffs climbing on ropes of 200 - 300 feet. Some had tracking dogs that took Jim's scent from clothing. Some had horses and others all terrain vehicles. Most walked for hours in organized patterns about 5 people apart making sure that they carefully looked at all the areas.
About 4:30 pm when it was getting dark, they found Maxwell. He was fine - although very muddy and hungry. He ate a ranger's sandwich in the car. Jim was found about 50 meters away. It was very difficult to get to that area and was very overgrown with brush. It appears that he fell into a creek. The doctors will do an investigation and be able to tell us more next week. If Maxwell hadn't stayed near him for nearly 24 hours, we might not have been able to find his body because it was in a very hidden place.
Please know that Jim has been SOOO happy the last few weeks. He's loved the new houseboat and town where we live. He can walk everywhere and say hello - or jambo - to everyone. He would walk Max early every morning to buy a cup of coffee and a paper and was making friends at the people in the store, the people in the boats, the homeless people - everyone.
He loved the new trail and he loved his life. He loved his good friends - like you.
Jim sourrounded by children in Eldorat Kenya - 2005.
Relaxing in Eldorat, Kenya - 2005.
Dancing in Benecia, CA - 2005.
Maxell the wonder dog at rest >>>
>> Scenes from the Rescue efforts>>> Scenes from the Memorial Service 4 Feb.>>>

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