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Dick Hess

Cedar Rapids

Family and friends mourn the death of Dick Hess, who died Oct. 20, 2019, of brain cancer (glioblastoma).
Dick was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He went to St. Jude elementary school and graduated from LaSalle High School in 1972. At LaSalle, he was active in Glee Club and he made and launched model rockets. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1976 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He went to Seattle to work for Boeing. In 1987, he went to Universal Avionics, where he developed flight management navigation systems. Flying also was Dick's hobby. He was certified in single and multi-engine planes and jets. He built a VariEze plane and flew it across the country.
Dick was an avid bicyclist, a hiker and a cross-country runner. He loved traveling, visiting 17 countries. He was a home brewer, and brought together friends and family for an annual Brewfest to commemorate two friends who died of brain cancer. Dick taught himself the banjo and enjoyed serenading family and friends. He was kind, as demonstrated by his volunteer work for Tent City and his membership in the Knights of Columbus. Even while dealing with cancer, he maintained his sense of childlike wonder, playfulness and quick wit. In long conversations with many people, Dick often spoke the fewest words – but those were the words that everyone remembered.
Dick is survived by his wife, Sheila; their daughter, Heather; his daughter, Holly from a previous marriage (Terri Dix); his mother, Mary Lou; siblings, Tom, Jim (Pascale), Pat (Karen) and Peggy Saunders (Walter); and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, Gene Hess.
A memorial Mass will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Mary Queen of Peace Church, 1121 228th Ave. SE, Sammamish, Wash.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to EndBrainCancer.org
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