Headstones

Retired 1st Sgt. Roy T. “Tom” Hess

Roy T. Hess (Tom), 77, passed peacefully October 4, 2019, at St. Joseph Hospital – Wichita.

He was born June 18, 1942, at St. Francis Hospital – Wichita, the son of Webster Neal Hess and Nellie (Peggy) Perilla (McDannald).

Tom graduated Caldwell High School, Class of 1960.  Following graduation, he attended and graduated Cowley County Community College. 

Tom joined the U.S. Air Force in 1963, where he was assigned to the 6901st Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center in Zweibrucken Germany. His responsibility was monitoring the movement and intentions of TU-95 long range bombers, the Soviet equivalent of U.S. B-52s.  He was considered the best “Long Ranger” in the European security region.

After serving his country for four years, Tom came back from Germany and married MaryBeth Hess (Lawrence) on July 20, 1968.  Tom then served in the Intelligence Unit and retired as a first sergeant in the Kansas Air National Guard. During his career, Tom also worked insurance investigation, prior to retiring from Aerospace Sales at Learjet in 2006.

Tom and MaryBeth built a home and raised their family in Clearwater, Kansaas. Tom was an avid runner who also enjoyed designing and creating thousands of woodworking projects throughout his life. Another of Tom’s passions was his precious kitty cats, all of who he dearly loved. And most of all, his love of Corvettes and Blues music.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents. In addition to his wife of 51 years, he is survived by his son Thomas R. Hess (Lisa), his daughter Erika M Willis (Faron), grandson Ethan Willis, granddaughter Emma Willis, brother Larry Hess (Yvonne), and many nieces, nephews, and in-laws.

Funeral services were held Oct. 11 at Schaeffer Mortuary in Caldwell.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Tom’s name to the River Church in Clearwater or to Victory in the Valley and sent in care of the mortuary.