John Edwin Hess
January 15, 1929 – July 23, 2018
On July 23, 2018, beloved husband, father and grandfather, John Edwin Hess of Pinehurst, NC and Carlsbad, CA, passed away peacefully at Hospice of the North Coast’s Pacifica House in Carlsbad after a short illness.
John was born in Somerville, NJ on January 15, 1929, son of Freas Leslie and Wilhelmina Taylor Hess. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Freas L. Hess, Jr., his twin sister Jean Elizabeth Hess Anderson, and his beloved wife of 60 years, Sophie Marsjanik Hess.
He is survived by his daughter Mary Lynn Hess Young and her husband Michael W. Young, grandson Cole Kiesing Young and step-grandchildren, Andrea Lynn Young and Jordan Michael Young, as well as many nieces and nephews and their families.
A graduate of Somerville High School, John enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served with the Force RECON Company, 2nd Marine Battalion and the 2nd Amphibious Recon Battalion. A veteran of WWII and the Korean War, John spent a great deal of his enlisted time aboard the submarines USS Finback and USS Sealion; he was also assigned to an Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) Unit based at the Naval Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, VA. He remained a proud Marine to the end, sporting the familiar “Eagle, Globe and Anchor” on his cap every day.
After attending Rutgers University, John went to work for Johns-Manville Corporation in Manville, NJ. He retired from J-M after 40 years as a Product Design/Aerospace Engineer. His work with aerospace insulative products could be found on most NASA missions from Project Mercury through and including the Apollo Lunar Module and the Space Shuttle Program. While working closely with NASA-Ames Research, John developed Quilite®, the AFRSI material blanket that replaced the rigid tiles that were falling off the space shuttles.
John and Sophie retired to Pinehurst, NC in 1992 where they lived many happy years as active and beloved contributors to the community. John was a charter member of the Marine Corps League Sandhills Detachment and he coordinated their Toys for Tots effort for many years. He was named Detachment Marine of the Year in 2000. Every year on November 10, John would set out coolers of free beer (Bud Light only, please!) in their back yard so golfers playing Pinehurst #3 could join him in celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday. He volunteered at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital for over 18 years as a van and golf cart shuttle driver and enjoyed recounting the stories of the crazy goings-on he encountered in the hospital parking lot. But mostly, John loved being out on the golf course with Sophie and his grandson, Cole. After moving to Carlsbad to live with Lynn and Michael, he still enjoyed playing golf twice a week up until just few weeks before his death.
A viewing will be held on Friday, July 27 at 10am followed by a service at 11am at El Camino Memorial – Encinitas, CA. A Memorial Service and burial with Military Honors is being planned for the fall in Somerville, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Wreaths Across America San Diego in Mr. Hess’s memory. Checks should be made payable to: Rancho Santa Fe (RSF) Foundation, with WAA-SD/Hess in the memo line, and mailed to RSF Foundation, PO Box 811, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. Memorial donations may also be made to the Marine Corps League Foundation. Semper Fi!
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John Edwin Hess
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July 26, 2018
One of my fondest memories as a kid was visiting Aunt Sophie and Uncle John at their house in Bridgewater. They lived near the tee box of a par three on Greenknoll Golf Course. I would play that par three over, and over, and over again. Of course checking to make sure no real golfers were in sight or that the marshal wasn't around. I don't think I ever parred that hole but it began my love/hate for the game that continues today. Even after Aunt Sophie passed away he always remembered my birthday and sent holiday greetings to me and Mory at Christmas. Your service to others will be missed Uncle John. Hit 'em straight and long.