Hess, Daniel K. 84, of Venice, FL, formerly of Grand Rapids, MI, passed away on Thursday, November 28, 2013. He was born to the late Maurice and Elizabeth (Wisted) Hess on August 14, 1929 in DeKalb, IL. Daniel received a BA in Education from Northern Illinois University and an MA in Reading from the University of Chicago and was employed as a Reading Specialist for over 30 years, the majority of which was for the Grand Rapids public school system. He was passionate about making a difference in the lives of his students. He and his family moved to Grand Rapids in 1969 to take the role of Director of Informational Services for the Grand Rapids public schools. Daniel had many accolades throughout his career, including President of West Aurora Teachers Assoc., President of Grand Rapids Reading Assoc., published author of many educational articles for national magazines and winner of a national educational public relations program NSPRA. His love for theater and community volunteerism followed his entire life. As a young man, Daniel was the Business Manager for the Fox River Valley Symphony. He was active with Grand Rapids Civic Theater, President of Grand Rapids Community Circle Theater, and performed at children's parties as the Mad Hatter. He then originated the Mad Hatter booth for kids to make paper hats at the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts. Daniel was a lifetime member of the Grand Rapids Elks Club, a current member of the Sun Coast Cathedral MCC in Venice, FL and a former member of both First Park Congregational Church and Douglas Community Church in Michigan, as well as Westminster Presbyterian Church in Aurora, IL. In retirement, Daniel loved to travel across the globe, garden and sew. Daniel was preceded in death by his wife of 28 years, Christine (Brogunier) Hess and his cherished grandson, Matthew S. Kutsche. He is survived by four children, Jon (Susan) Hess of Grandville, MI, Ann Hess of Wyoming, MI, Mary (David) Kutsche of East Grand Rapids, MI, and Andrew (Kym) Hess of Eagle, MI. He is also survived by six much-loved grandchildren, Kyle (Melissa) and Sarah Kutsche; Abby, Charlie, Zachary and Justin Hess, as well as nieces, nephews and dear friend, Duane Tabbert. In lieu of flowers, Daniel's wishes are that donations be made to The Daniel K. Hess Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community Circle Theater. A private family burial took place at Riverside Cemetery in Saugatuck, MI. A memorial service will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 North Edgelawn Drive, Aurora, IL on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
Published in Beacon News on Jan. 12, 2014