Obituary: Roy T. ‘Tom’ Hess

Roy T. Hess (Tom), 77, passed peacefully on Oct. 4, 2019 at St. Joseph Hospital, Wichita, KS. He was born June 18, 1942 at St. Francis Hospital, Wichita. He was the son of Webster Neal Hess and Nellie (Peggy) Perilla (McDannald).
Tom graduated from Caldwell High School with the class of 1960. Following graduation, he attended and graduated from Cowley County Community College. In 1963, Tom joined the U.S. Air Force, where he was assigned to the 690 1st Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (SARC) located in Zweibrucken, Germany. Tom’s responsibility was monitoring the movement and intentions of TU-95 long range bombers (bears), 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 Sargent in the Kansas Air National Guard. During the span of his career, Tom also worked in insurance investigation, prior to retiring from aerospace sales at Learjet in 2006.
Tom and MaryBeth built a home and raised their family in Clearwater. 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 whom he dearly loved. And most of all, was his love of Corvettes and blues music.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents. Surviving in addition to his wife of 51 years, MaryBeth, are 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.
A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Schaeffer Mortuary in Caldwell. Pastor Rusty Sizemore officiated. Inurnment was in the Corzine Cemetery, Corbin, Kan.
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.
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Arrangements were by Schaeffer Mortuary, 6 N. Main, Caldwell.