William Richard Hess of Lawrence, Kan., passed away on Sunday, March 5, surrounded by loving family at the Olathe Hospice House. Bill was born June 13, 1937, to Robert and Elizabeth Hess of Wichita, Kan. He was a friend to many; known for his huge heart, sharp wit, gregarious personality, and warm disposition. Bill enjoyed socializing with family and friends, boating at the lake, cheering on the Jayhawks at sporting events, and was a lifelong learner with a variety of interests.
Bill earned a bachelor's degree in geology with a minor in mathematics from Wichita State University and an MBA from the University of Kansas. He was a Colonel in the U.S. Army, serving from 1960 to 1986, and spent time stationed in Germany, at Ft. Leavenworth, Lawrence, and at the U.S. Pentagon. In addition to his military service, Bill pursued a broad-ranging career that included working as a geologist at the Kansas Geological Survey, as a loan officer, realtor, and an entrepreneur.
Some of Bill's proudest accomplishments included earning his Eagle Scout as a young man, achieving the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army, earning The Meritorious Service Medal and The Army Commendation Medal, and raising his two children, Clayton Hess and Dana Hess Davis.
Bill is survived by his younger brother Jim Hess (Marci) of Wisconsin, his children Clayton (Bridget) and Dana (Paul) both of Kansas City, as well as five grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his older brother Robert Hess and ex-wife Susan Nash Hess.
A memorial service and reception to celebrate Bill's life will take place on Friday, March 24, 11 a.m. at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home in Olathe. A memorial celebratory toast in honor of Bill will take place on Wednesday, March 22, 5 to 6 p.m. at Set 'Em Up Jack's in Lawrence.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Olathe Hospice House in Bill Hess' honor. To leave a message for the family, visit www.Penwellgabelolathe.com
Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home & Crematory
14275 Blackbob Road South
Olathe, KS 66063
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Mar. 12, 2017