Archive for Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Obituary: Urban Joseph Hess

1911-2003

February 26, 2003

Services for Urban Joseph Hess, 91, Shawnee, were Monday, Feb. 24, 2002, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shawnee. Entombment was planned at Resurrection Cemetery Mausoleum.

Mr. Hess died Thursday, Feb. 20, 2003, at Shawnee Gardens Nursing Facility. He was born Sept. 9, 1911, in Lawrence.

He attended primary school in Leavenworth County and graduated from Tonganoxie High School. He earned an electrical engineering degree from the University of Kansas. At KU, he was in ROTC, and after graduation was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

After graduation, he taught at the same rural Leavenworth County school he attended in the Reno area.

He was a veteran of World War II, and a survivor of Pearl Harbor, where he served as commandant of the Seacoast Artillery Command. After serving for 35 years, he retired from the U.S. Army as a full colonel.

He was a charter member of the Johnson County Parks Board. He served on the board of directors for Providence Hospital and Medical Center and also served as president of Home State Bank in Kansas City, Kan. He was a member of the board of directors of Wyandotte County Bank and chairman of the board of Citizens Bank and Trust.

The Urban Hess Business Park in Tonganoxie was named for Mr. Hess, to whom the property once belonged.

"He cooperated with Leavenworth County to make the property available," said Bill New, chairman of the board of First State Bank and Trust of Tonganoxie. "He wanted it to be beneficial to the future of Tonganoxie, and he went out of his way to assist us to do that."

Jim Grinter, who lives in Reno, remembers farming Mr. Hess' 80 acres where the business park now is under development. Mr. Hess was a landowner who was quick with praise.

"He was really a tremendous guy," Grinter said. "He was a nice gentleman."

Grinter remembers, too, that Mr. Hess' parents ran a grocery store-drug store in Reno.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Elma Mae, of the home, and a sister, Alfreda Hess of Fredonia.

The family suggests memorial contributions to St. Joseph Invest in the Future fund, sent in care of Amos Family Chapel of Shawnee, 10801 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, 66203.

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