Jeffrey Ray Best, 62, of rural Eau Claire, WI, passed away surrounded by his family after a short, but courageous battle with cancer on March 1st, 2022. Jeff was born on September 29th, 1959, to Ray and Christine (Wicke) Best in Waukesha, WI.

Jeff’s life was lived full of hard work, constantly doing the right thing, and fiercely loving his family. He adored his children and grandchildren with his whole heart. All who knew Jeff were aware he had a special bond with children. He was referred to as the ‘kid whisperer’ and often introduced himself to children as ‘…you can call me Jeff, or Grandpa Jeff…’ to which most took him up on the latter. When Grandpa arrived at family functions his presence was made known by the joyous screams of his grandchildren as they ran to greet him. We have the fondest memories of him surrounded by grandkids, nieces, nephews and really all children that might be in attendance, laughing, singing, and making up games and rhymes that Jeff personalized for each child. It was a bit of magic to see the love that youth sparked in Jeff and how quickly it was reciprocated.

Jeff spent most of his life working in the construction industry and he really could do it all. He was a talented home, cabinet, and furniture builder who could also fix just about anything with a little duct tape. Jeff loved the great outdoors. Fishing, hunting, and watching wildlife were some of his favorite activities.

Jeff was adored by his family. He is survived by his children, Nicole (Rick) Campbell, Jeremy (Megan) Best, and Dylan (Joslyn) Panetti; his beloved grandchildren Maya, James, Wyatt, Callum, Lucy, and Jack; his siblings Mike Best, Linda (David) Schroeder, Tony Best, Mark (Pam) Best, and Bev (Ed) Kohanek; former wife and treasured friend Dawn Torgerson; many nieces and nephews and even more great-nieces and great-nephews.

Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Christine Best, and son-in-law Scott Campbell.

A Memorial Service honoring Jeff will be held at Smith Funeral Chapel on April 23rd, 2022 at 2pm, with Visitation starting 2 hours prior. A Celebration of Life at Pine Meadow Golf Course in Eau Claire, WI will follow the service at approximately 4pm.


  1. So sorry for your loss. Life passes way too quickly. Jeff was always a constant at functions for family and friends. I seen the love he displayed for his children and grandchildren. He would welcome any child in need of attention. His heart was pure, open, soft and kind. God must have thought so too. He earned his wings. So fly high Jeff. Until we met again.

  2. I think of you every day uncle Jeff. You were such an amazing loving sweet soul and to be quite honest ever since leaving the hospital I don’t think I’ve went more than 2 hours without crying. I wish this darn Covid stuff hadn’t made it hard to get to see you in the hospital before it was too late to speak with you! I’m so grateful I could be there with you in your final hours and I hope you had some way of hearing me tell you how much I love you! I’m proud and grateful to be your niece and I pray you know much I love & appreciated you! I love you and I miss you but I’m glad you are now with grandma and no longer suffering in so much pain!! 💕💕💕

  3. Jeff was indeed, a wonderful person. No matter how busy he was, he could always squeeze in projects for Jody, my dad and myself (grandchildren would always come first!). He was a master of everything; plumbing, electrical, woodworking, construction, etc. His took pride in his work and it showed.
    Jeff was a gentle, kind soul who slipped away from us suddenly and quietly. He will truly be missed by Jody and I.
    I pray for your comfort in the loss of your dad, grandchildren, siblings, family and friends.

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