Joseph J. “Joe” Hess

Joseph J. “Joe” Hess

Joseph J. “Joe” Hess, age 92, of Dubuque, was called home peacefully at 6:50 a.m., on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, at home, surrounded by his loving family. To honor Joe’s life, funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., on his birthday, Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Trinity Church, 1701 Rhomberg Avenue, with Rev. Dwayne J. Thoman officiating. To celebrate Joe’s life, family and friends may visit from 9:00 a.m., until time of services at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Holy Trinity Church. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, where full military honors will be accorded by the Dubuque Marine Corps League. Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, is in charge of arrangements.

Joe was born on March 2, 1926, in Holy Cross, Iowa, son of Joseph Peter and Bertha (Saylor) Hess. Joe was adopted by his father’s sister, Theresa, and was raised by Joe and Theresa (Hess) Neumann.

Joe grew up on a farm located between Epworth and Bankston, where he learned early on the value of an honest days work. He would leave to honorably serve his country with the U.S. Army from 1944 until 1946, during WWII. When he returned home from overseas, Joe returned to working on the farm, where he would meet his sweetheart, Anna A. Oberfoell, who was literally the “girl next door” on the adjacent farm. They courted and would be married on May 29, 1956, in Peosta, Iowa, eventually moving to Dubuque, where they bought a home and started their family. Joe was fortunate to find a job with the Dubuque Packing Company where he would devote over 30 years until his well earned retirement. After his retirement, Joe and Anna spent much of their time at their northern retreat on Mitten Lake near Remer, Minnesota. Joe loved to fish off the dock and often provided meals of sunfish and crappies that Anna would fry up for him. He also cherished his garden and spent countless hours weeding and watering his vegetables. He looked forward to spending time with his kids and grandkids, as well as extended family members and was always the first one to suggest playing games. He loved all card games, but especially enjoyed playing Euchre with family and friends. He was a regular player with the Thursday Holy Trinity Card Club, and was well known as a tough guy to beat. He was also very devoted to his Catholic faith, and was a long time member of Holy Trinity Church, where he helped out by cutting the lumber used to create the beautiful crafts for the fall festival for over 20 years. Our hearts are truly broken today at the loss of such a wonderful husband, dad and grandfather, but we are thankful for all of the wonderful memories that we have made throughout the years and will treasure forever.

Those left to cherish Joe’s memory include

his loving wife,
Anna Hess, Dubuque, IA;

his 3 children,
Diana (Steve) Rokusek, Dubuque, IA,
Joseph (Bonnie) Hess, Inver Grove Heights, MN,
and Richard (Melanie) Hess, Coon Rapids, MN;

and his 5 grandchildren,
Matthew, Corianna, Jonathan, Kelsey and Stephanie Hess.

Joe was preceded in death by both his birth and adoptive parents; his sister, Susetta Garrison; his brother, Dwain “Bud” Hess; and a grandson, Joseph Richard Hess.

Joe’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the nurses and staff of Hospice of Dubuque, especially Scott, for all of the kind, compassionate and loving care they have provided Joe and his family.

Memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among his favorite charities.


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Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Trinity Church
1701 Rhomberg Avenue, Dubuque, Iowa
March 2nd, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Funeral Service

Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Trinity Church
1701 Rhomberg Avenue, Dubuque, Iowa
March 2nd, 2019 at 10:30 AM

4 condolences for Joseph J. “Joe” Hess
  1. Gary Fink says:

    Condolences to the Hess family.
    I remember Joe from when I was a Scout and his time volunteering with Boy Scout Troop 16 at Holy Trinity…..He worked with us on my Eagle Scout Service Project.
    Very nice man,and fun to be around.

  2. G says:

    To the Hess family, I am sorry for the pain and emptiness of heart you must feel at this time. Jesus Christ promised to call all those in the memorial tombs, they will hear his voice and come out. (John 5:28 & 29) Yes, the resurrection will be a reality on a peaceful earth. (Psalm 37:29, Acts 24:15)

  3. Tom Leicht says:

    Anna and family, so sorry to read of Joes passing. will always be remembered as a good loving neighbor and a good man. 92 is a good long life, though I never looked at him as being that old, always seemed younger to me. Rest knowing that he is in a better place. Tom Leicht

  4. Steve schute says:

    Sorry to all, he was a special person. I remember him well at all the scouting events. His love will be with us forever.
    The Schute family.

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