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Robert Dale Hess

HESS, ROBERT DALE, 85, entered eternal rest on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at the Nazareth Nursing Home in Louisville. He was born in Freeport, Illinois the son of William F. and Mary J. Hess.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary Hess, brothers William F. Hess, Jr., John E. Hess (Anne); and sisters, Shirley J. Heck (Roger), Donna M. Williams, and Joan A. Dole (Dale).

Survivors are his sister Mary L. Eardley (Ward); 15 nieces and nephews; 12 great nieces and nephews; six great-great-nephews, his extended family Ronald and Cindy Hess, and very close friends George and Connie Thompson and Steve and Connie Harrison.

Bob Hess led an eclectic and meaningful life. He was a purposeful man who decided early in life to take leadership roles in corporate, military, academic, and religious endeavors. Because of this broad, purposeful perspective, Bob was a unique contributor to the communities and lives he touched.

He earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration degrees from Roosevelt University, a Master of Arts degree in management/business through Webster University and did his doctoral work at the University of Kentucky with additional work in management of lifelong education at Harvard University. Bob Hess was a lifelong learner and teacher.

His greatest legacy is his commitment to mentoring people. Through his corporate, military, academic, and spiritual pursuits, he helped people find meaningful answers. Early in his corporate career, Bob developed the HLP - Hess Leadership Program which was his light-hearted title for this important commitment. He mentored a large number of college interns, employees, colleagues, graduate students, and others. He taught that each individual can be a winning contributor and that a purposeful life requires a personal vision, goals, and objectives. He did this with pointed honesty and more than a little humor.

In the corporate world, Bob worked with the General Electric Company where he was Program Manager, Econometrics / Administrative Support. His work interest included system designs, mathematical modeling, strategic materials studies, and econometric forecasts that supported manufacturing strategic planning. It was at GE that Bob developed his unique mentoring talents.

In his military career, Bob rose to the rank of colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He was a graduate of the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College and The Industrial College of the Armed Forces, His final assignment took him to the Pentagon where he served as Senior Management Information Systems Research Officer in the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Department of the Army. Colonel Hess conducted in-depth research and analysis of Information Technology applications and formulated plans to improve operations throughout the command.

Bob was committed to higher and continuing education. While working full-time for GE and serving as a reserve officer, he began teaching and managing higher education programs, both through his employer and local colleges and universities. Bob recognized that "to teach was to change lives forever" and he taught with a passion.

As Director of Academic Programs and Professor of Management for the Louisville, Kentucky campus of Webster University (Saint Louis), Bob recruited, supervised, and coordinated the academic excellence of 40 adjunct professors. He was a vital force in developing high quality graduate education in the region. His professional development workshops were always well-attended by faculty who learned early what a "command performance" meant to their teaching careers. He developed a program with high standards that served as a model for and was emulated by Webster University's other 100+ campuses worldwide. The Robert Dale Hess Distinguished Faculty Award at the Louisville campus attests to the impact he had on that program.

Bob was a spiritual man who maintained a lifelong commitment to his religious community. He attended Saint Louis Bertrand parish in Louisville where he was a 50-year member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. He also was a Saint Meinrad Archabbey Benedictine Oblate and assisted the Abbey in organizing its history of service. Bob served as a volunteer in the Chaplain's office at Norton's Hospital in Louisville where he helped minister to families and their seriously ill patients.

Robert Dale Hess made an impact on people and communities through his life of service and energetic commitments. He led a purpose-driven life that exemplified what he shared with the people he mentored. We miss his humor, boundless energy, and positive actions. We miss this man who cared and gave so much. We are grateful for the blessing of his presence in our lives.

There will not be a Louisville area funeral service. Funeral service will be at the Schwarz Chapel, 608 S. Park Blvd., Freeport, IL, 61032. (815) 235-7371. Mass of Christian Burial and interment will be in Freeport.

The family requests no flowers. Bob would appreciate your remembering him in your daily prayers.

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Funeral Home

Schwarz Park Blvd. Chapel - Freeport
608 S. Park Blvd.  Freeport, IL 61032
(815) 235-7371

Published in The Courier-Journal on Mar. 19, 2014
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