Cover photo for James "Jimmy" C. Libbrecht's Obituary
James "Jimmy" C. Libbrecht Profile Photo
1957 James "Jimmy" 2024

James "Jimmy" C. Libbrecht

February 26, 1957 — May 17, 2024


James C. “Jimmy” Libbrecht, 67, of Marshall died in comfort on Friday, May 17, 2024 with his beloved children and grandchildren providing his care at his daughter Tressa’s home.

Jimmy was born on February 26, 1957, in Marshall to James M. and Jean Rae (Lester) Libbrecht.  He attended Marshall schools and graduated from Marshall High School in 1975.  While in high school he enjoyed participating on Redskin sport teams.

After graduation he enrolled at Ferris State University where his goal was to complete studies to become an architect.    In his second year he changed his career goal to follow in his father’s footsteps as a professional firefighter.  

He became a part paid firefighter in 1977 for the City of Marshall Fire Department.  He started working as a meter reader for the Marshall Water and Electric Department on June 6, 1977.  After completing the examination and physical requirements for the open career position, he was hired as a Lieutenant for Marshall Fire Department on October 1, 1978.  Jimmy was promoted to Assistant Chief on November 22, 1992.  During his career he continually improved his knowledge and skills  to better serve the community by completing classes to become a Michigan Certified Training Officer, in HazMat, Fire Officer Training, and Extrication among many other specialized areas.  He completed classes and took the Michigan Exam to become a licensed Emergency Medical Technician.  (The vast majority of the extra training was on his own time and he received no pay to do it!)    He was a charter member of the Marshall Firefighters Ambulance in 1980 when it was formed by the Marshall Firefighters Association, both responding with the ambulance while on duty and many times on his own time.  He served as Marshall Fire Department Acting Deputy Chief for over a year at the end of his career.  He retired on February 26, 2007.  During his career he had the opportunity to work with his father at the department, Assistant Chief James M. “Big Jim” Libbrecht until his retirement in August of 1987.  Jimmy acquired the moniker of “Little Jimmy” so everyone knew which one was being called for or talked about!

His father was initially quite upset with his namesake son when he dropped out of college to pursue a career in the fire service, but ultimately was very proud and supportive of that choice!

On September 7, 2007 he became the full time Wheelchair Transport driver/attendant for Marshall Area Firefighters Ambulance Authority.  His patients enjoyed him as much as he enjoyed them!  He retired from that position on June 12, 2014, when he moved to Venice, Florida.

Jimmy loved his retirement years spent in Venice.  Going to Stump’s Pass and Venice Beach to fish and hunt shark teeth became one of his favorite activities.  Playing golf and meeting at Captain Eddie’s for happy hour and a meal made many new friends.  He became known as “Jimmy the Hat” at Captain Eddie’s!  After Jimmy moved back to Marshall due to his illness, his friends honored him by hanging his hat over where he sat so he will be remembered!   When he became ill last October the Florida friends treated him like their family, providing any needed help.   He moved back to Marshall to be near his children and their families this past February.  

He was a member of the Moose Lodge and Eagles Lodge in Venice.  Jimmy was a member of Michigan State Fire Chiefs Association, Western Michigan Fire Chiefs, Marshall Firefighters Association and the former Calhoun County Firefighters Association.    While living in Marshall he played golf on the Marshall Moose League at Alwyn Downs and bowled on League at Marshall Lanes.  In his younger years he was an excellent softball player in the Marshall Rec Softball League.  Both his skills at basketball and softball were heavily relied on for the annual Marshall Police vs Marshall Firefighters games in each sport!

Jimmy’s favorite holiday was Christmas!  Yearly he decorated his home with an array of Christmas decorations and hosted a yearly Christmas for everyone at his Venice home that was looked forward to by everyone!   

His marriages to Jan Hinton and Rebecca Fish ended in divorce but brought much joy to all as the families blended and two sons joined the fold!  

Surviving are his children Andrew (Mel Southwell) Libbrecht, Kevin (Laura Pfost) Libbrecht, Tressa (Dustin) Hewitt and Dani (Jamie) Ray; his beloved 9 grandchildren Brandon and Luke Ray, Presleigh Mailloux, Iris Libbrecht and Evelyn Peters, Jocelynn Klein, William Cameron Hewitt, Aurlaina Davis and Maisse Davis; his sister Kim R. (Mike) Walters; nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

Jimmy will always be remembered as an exceptionally kind and giving soul.  

Friends may call at Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US HWY 27 N, Marshall on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm.  Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 1:30pm at the funeral home.

Fire Department Honors will be conducted by the Marshall Fire Department to include a Bell Ceremony at the funeral home and Final Call at the cemetery.

He will be laid to rest at St. Mary Cemetery.

The family suggests donations in Jimmy’s memory be made to Oaklawn Hospice, 13444 Preston Drive, Marshall, MI  49068 and you can donate online at  

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)


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