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Robert McDonald Hess M.D. Jr.

1931 - 2019
Robert McDonald Hess M.D. Jr. Obituary
Robert McDonald Hess, Jr. MD

Jacksonville, FL - Robert McDonald Hess, Jr. MD, FAANS(L), age 88, passed on October 3, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida with his family by his side. Born in Findlay, Ohio on June 24, 1931, he graduated from Findlay High School in 1949 and obtained a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in 1953. He then attended the Ohio State College of Medicine and graduated with his doctor of medicine in 1957, earning first place in the Ohio State Medical Board Examination that year. He interned at Akron City Hospital and did his surgical residency at Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis. Dr. Hess served aboard the USS Los Angeles from 1960 to 1962 as a lieutenant commander and chief medical officer in the U.S. Navy. Dr. Hess completed his residency and fellowship in neurosurgery at the Ohio State University from 1962- 1967. He entered into private practice with Retter, Leimbach, Hess, and Smith, practicing at Mt. Carmel hospitals for 25 years. Dr. Hess then joined a private practice in Zanesville, Ohio and retired in 1995. He was board certified by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in 1972. In 1969, Dr. Hess and Dr. William E. Hunt, his mentor and professor of neurosurgery at the Ohio State College of Medicine, authored two books relating to aneurysms and their repair techniques. Both books were instrumental in improving neurological outcomes and are widely recognized as breakthrough techniques and procedures. The widely-used "Hunt and Hess Classification of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage" (introduced in 1968) is still taught to medical professionals and used today to predict prognosis and outcomes in patients. Dr. Hess was also an instructor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Ohio State College of Medicine. He was named Ohio Neurosurgeon of the Year in 1994 and served as President of the Ohio Neurological Society in 1990-1991. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Findlay Rotary Club Fort Findlay Award. Preceded in death by his parents, Robert McDonald Hess, Sr. and Gertrude Hazel Hess (Fett), his sister, Mary Nelle McDowell (Hess) and brother-in-law, William Wayne McDowell; his brother, Thomas William Hess, OD and his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Ann Hess (Morrison). He is survived by his five children - Jennifer Sue Hess Hjelle (Christian) of Upper Arlington; Henry Howard Hess (Sara Hornstra) of Chicago; Richard Wolf Hess (Rochelle Tafolla) of Houston; Emily Marie Hess (Robert Martin) of Powell, and Frank Albert Hess (Katherine Yeend Hess) of Columbus - and thirteen beloved grandchildren - Alec, Lindsey, and Ashley Hjelle; Pauline and Ida Hornstra; Olivia, Mariano and Stella Hess; Jack and Sean Martin; and Arthur John Robert (AJ), Otis, and Edward Hess. He is also survived by his first wife, Karen Sue Krueger Barnard of Columbus; nieces Elizabeth McDowell Zitkovic of Findlay and Barbara McDowell of Columbus; nephews Eric and Karl Hess of Copley; his Aunt, Margaret Ritchie (Hess) of Mansfield; his long-time companion Barbara Heamon (Schrader) of Ponta Vedra Beach, Florida, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and colleagues. Dr. Hess was admired and loved by his fellow medical practitioners, office and hospital staff and patients. His patients and their families frequently remembered and thanked him long after their medical care with him had ended. He was known for his kindness, gentle nature, and loyalty to friends and family. Dr. Hess had deep affection for the Detroit Tigers, Indiana Hoosiers, trains, ships, British and European history, travel, British comedian Kenneth Williams, as well as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. He adored the classical music of Barber, Elgar, Grieg, Liszt, Mozart and Wagner. Throughout his life, he traveled often to London, England with his five children. In his later years, he visited the World War I battle sites of Verdun, France and the World War II Normandy landing sites. In the past two years, he twice visited London, England and the Battle of Waterloo site in Belgium with his children. He will be deeply missed by his children, grandchildren, family and friends and colleagues. A private graveside service entrusted to Coldren-Crates Funeral Home of Findlay, Ohio will be held in Bluffton. A celebration of life in Columbus, Ohio at The Boat House at Confuence Park will be held on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dr. Hess may be made to the Detroit Tigers Foundation or the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Published in the News Herald from Oct. 8 to Oct. 12, 2019
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