George L. Hess Jr., age 77, passed into the arms of our Lord on Monday, September 1, 2014. He was born to George Louis and Helen (Wehvilainen) Hess on April 12, 1937.
He graduated from Berlin High School with the class of '55 and served four years, 1956 to 1960, in the USAF, later receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree from UW-Oshkosh.
On May 25th, 1957 he was married to Sharon Chier at St. Michael Catholic Church in Berlin, Wisconsin and together they were blessed with eight children: Kim (Tom) Gonyo; Michael and Julie (Wilke) Hess; Lori (Thomas) Phillippi; Mark and Sandy (Brueggen) Hess; Randy and Chris (Good) Hess; Jan (Todd) Huggins; Matt Hess; and Joleen Hess. They have 17 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents; and two grandchildren, Nolan Phillippi and Sonya Hess.
In 1960 to 1962 he worked in the electronics field in Buffalo, NY and then in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on the Modular Guidance System in the U.S. Space Program. In 1962 he partnered into the C.A. Chier Sand Co. with his father-in-law, Clifford Chier, and his brother-in-law, Russell Chier. In 1979, he and Russ established the family owned business now known as Badger Mining Corporation.
George became a licensed pilot in 1982 and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). He authored "Tales of the Bearpaw Bear Hunters", and also did oil and acrylic paintings, mainly animals and landscapes.
He was a pious man, served as the commentator at Mass, taught religious education and was a member of Saint Michael's Parish Council. He coached parochial grade school basketball and was a certified basketball referee.
He was a former Rotarian, a member of the Knights of Columbus, the O'Connor-Chiers American Legion Post 340, Mascoutin Country Club, Berlin Athletic Fan Club and the BHS Alumni Association. Through his work he was a charter member of the Golden Badgers Society, NISA, American Foundry Society and the Society of Mining Engineers. He formerly served on the Board of Directors for M&I Central State Bank, Ripon Athletics, Community Health Network (CHN), and Badger Mining Corporation.
For forty years he struggled with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but pushed to remain active. He loved attending all his children's and grandchildren's sporting events. He himself was an excellent skier, bowler and golfer. He enjoyed the outdoors, snowmobiling, boating, deer and bear hunting at the family cottage and musky fishing in Canada.
With family and friends, he and Sharon enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, along with trips to Puerto Rico, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. For the last 15 years, winters were spent at their home in Goodyear, Arizona.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at All Saints Catholic Church in Berlin, the Rev. David Greenfield and Rev. Jerome Maksvytis officiating. Inurnment will be in Oakwood Cemetery. Friends and relatives may call on Friday, September 5 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and also on Saturday, September 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Barbola Funeral Chapel in Berlin. There will be a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. Memorials may be directed to Share N Share Alike Foundation, Inc.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbola Funeral Chapel, Inc.
282 E. Marquette Street
Berlin, WI 54923
Published in Oshkosh Northwestern from Sept. 3 to Sept. 6, 2014