The following story appeared in the August 12 Idaho Catholic Register.
Deacon Francis Hess, a longtime deacon at St. Mary’s Parish in Boise, passed away suddenly on Monday, July 18.
Deacon Hess, 74, was ordained to the diaconate on Oct. 7, 2001 by Bishop Michael Driscoll and served at St. Mark’s Parish until 2004 when he transferred to St. Mary’s Parish.
Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated by Father John Worster on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at St. Mary’s Parish followed by a burial at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
Deacon Hess was born on Sept. 3, 1947, in Chester, Penn., to Francis J. Hess Sr. and Dorothy Helen Gibbs. He lived in Philadelphia until 1959 when his father transferred to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. He graduated in 1965 from Pemberton Township High School in New Jersey and was sworn into the U.S. Air Force by his father, who was an Air Force recruiter at the time. Upon graduation from Air Force Basic Training in San Antonio, he was assigned to Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho in 1966.
While stationed in Idaho, Deacon Hess married his first wife, Kathy Munson of Boise. Francis and Kathy had two children, Joseph and Laura. They were later divorced.
Deacon Hess studied accounting and economics and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Boise State in 1972. He worked in sales and finance for International Harvester and then started a career as a Realtor and property manager in the booming Boise real estate market during the late 70s. Deacon Hess enjoyed family camping trips, hiking, skiing and traveling to visit friends and family from the Oregon Coast to the Jersey shore.
In 1988, Deacon Hess married Patricia, who sang in the choir at St. Mark’s. Together they enjoyed sharing their faith, planting gardens, singing, praying together and spending time with family. Francis and Patricia spent time together at their McCall condominium
and explored the Idaho outdoors they loved. They hiked Mt. St. Helens together, danced and traveled.
In 1997, Francis began discerning ordination to the diaconate and was ordained in 2001. His devotion to his faith was evident, and he was most valued as a deacon for his inspiring sermons and for his attentiveness to the homebound and those in nursing facilities, where he frequently took the Eucharist and conducted communion services. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Kiwanis Club. He had a wonderful sense of humor, was a great storyteller and loved lively conversation. His family was very important to him, celebrating birthdays, telling stories, and praying for them all.
Deacon Hess was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and his brother Joseph G. Hess. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; son, Joseph (Rhiannon) Hess; daughter Laura (Eric) Hoff; stepson, John Newton; and stepdaughter, Julia Jenkins, all of Boise. His siblings include sister, Mary Addeo of Virginia, brothers Kenneth of New Jersey, Michael of North Carolina, Thomas of Virginia, David of Pennsylvania; four grandchildren, Skylynd, Gabrielle, Grace and Ella; six step-grandchildren, Emma, Lily Taylor, Jessica, Colten and Kayla; and five great-grandchildren, Natalie, Lucas, Liam, Hayden and Lauren.
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