Gerald M. Hess
April 7, 1917 - April 15, 2014
MUNCIE — Gerald M. Hess, age 97, of Muncie and formerly of Argos died April 15, 2014 in the Westminster Village Nursing Home. He had been in declining health for the past year.
He was born on April 7, 1917 in Corvallis, Ore. to F. Porter and Zena (Boggs) Hess. His parents returned to Argos prior to his first birthday and he lived most of his life in Marshall County. He married Helen Grace Behmer on Oct. 9, 1942 in Culver. They were married for 68 years before her death on Nov. 7, 2010. He and his wife moved to Pittsburgh, Pa. in 2001 and to Muncie in 2007 to be with family.
Gerald was a graduate of Argos High School class of 1935. After graduating from Purdue University in 1940 he served as a vocational agricultural and science teacher at LaPaz High School for five years. The balance of his career as an educator was spent back at Argos Community Schools. As a teacher he was instrumental in organizing the first Argos FFA Chapter in 1948, and served as an adviser to numerous FFA and 4-H judging teams, and organizations. He then went on to serve as principal and school superintendent. During his tenure as superintendent he oversaw six building expansions while keeping the school’s budget in “the black”. He retired in 1983 and was honored by the community when he served as the “grand marshal” for the “4th-a-bration” parade and then later honored by the school district and community when the high school auditorium was named after him.
Education was his passion but he served the community he loved in other ways. He was a charter member of the LaPaz Lions Club and a member of the Argos Lions for many years. He was a life long member of the Argos United Methodist Church and served as a member of the building committee for the current church building. He served as treasurer of the Argos Dollars for Scholars from 1991-2001 and was a member of the MCCF Investment Committee. The Argos Alumni Association was near and dear to his heart as he enjoyed staying in touch with former students and colleagues and learning of their accomplishments. He was an avid fan of athletics at AHS from the time he played basketball as a student until he drew his last breath. During retirement he collected carnival glass (the first piece was given to him by AHS teachers) and traveled the USA with his wife, Helen.
They are survived by two children: Thomas Gerald Hess (wife, Kuniko) of Columbus, Ohio and Nancy Bruce (husband, Kenneth) of Albany; three grandchildren: Susan Watkins (husband, Brian) of South Vienna, Ohio; Wesley Scott Bruce (fiancée, Kristina) of Tarentum, Pa.; and Tamiko Hess of Columbus, Ohio, four great-grandchildren: Charlee Sue and Isaac Bruce and Noah and Sarah Grace Watkins and numerous nieces and nephews. Gerald was preceded in death by his parents his wife, Helen and his brother, F. Charles Hess.
Friends may visit with the family Friday, April 18, 2014 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Earl-Grossman Funeral Home, 208 N. Michigan St., Argos; and on Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Argos United Methodist Church, 570 N. Michigan St., Argos.
Funeral Services will be at 12 p.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the church with Rev. Dewey L. Miller Jr. of the Argos United Methodist Church.
Burial will follow at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Argos.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation be made to the Helen G. and Gerald M. Hess Scholarship Fund at the Marshall County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 716, Plymouth, IN 46563. This scholarship was established to serve the youth of the Argos Community Schools, especially those wishing to pursue a teaching career.