Larry M. Hess

Memorial services for Larry M. Hess, 64, Lawrence will be held at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, March 11, 2018, at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts Street in Lawrence. He passed away unexpectedly Thursday, February 8, 2018, at his home.

Larry was born July 18, 1953, in Lawrence, Kansas the son of Albert and Helen (McCall) Hess.

He married Catherine Winters on December 1, 1973, in Lawrence, Kansas. She survives of the home. They were friends from his age of 12, dated off and on throughout junior high and high school.

Other survivors include his parents, Albert and Helen Hess; his children, Jacob Hess (Eva Nelson), Jeremy Hess (Erica Hunter), Bethany Hess, Adam Hess (Catherine Meihaus) and Sarah Hess (Patrick Sedo) all of Lawrence; grandchildren, James Sedo, Samuel Sedo, Collin Adams, Benny Hess, Hunter Hess and one on the way; his brother, David Hess (Becky) of Arkansas, sister, Lisa Goetz (Maury) of Boise, Idaho; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, Dale Hess (Mary Luanne Hess).

His family jokes he was a serial hobbyist. He enjoyed so many diverse activities; he played the banjo and guitar, painted landscapes, built model trains, historical model ships, airplanes and cars with his children and now his grandchildren, was an avid photographer and bodybuilder for a time, scuba-dived, golfed, restored his first sailboat in his driveway, owned a second larger sailboat then moved up to a 35-foot cabin cruiser that he and Catherine spent many a weekend on at K Dock at Rock Creek Marina, Perry Lake. He rebuilt, restored and rode motorcycles beginning in his teens. He was an avid enthusiast of Harley Davidson and Corvette. He recently restored a 1972 Stingray. He built furniture and completely remodeled the family home from re-plumbing and rewiring to building kitchen cabinets, bars and book cabinets, discovered and restored oak floors under carpet, built mantles, laying tile and countertops. He added an airless paint system in his garage and repainted his truck and his Harleys. There was not a room in their home that he did not touch or alter in some way to make it better.

He found happiness in his family, especially his children and grand-children, and all his “extra” children who found their way into the Hess household, often living with the family when they had nowhere else to go or just adopted him as a surrogate dad, good ear, a quick smile or frown and dispenser of common sense and reason. He had a quiet wit, often speaking zingers when no one expected.

Larry began his plumbing career as a plumber’s helper in his teens, then as a Union apprentice and Journyman plumber. He and Catherine moved to a 60-acre self-sustaining farm in Jefferson County in the 70’s where by necessity and mostly hilarious mishaps they both learned how to grow their own food, milk cows, aid in birthing baby pigs and use wood heat. He and Catherine purchased an ice manufacturing plant in Eudora, Kansas in the early 80’s followed by a second plant in Lawrence, both of which were combined in Lawrence, as Heartland Ice Company. They sold their business and Larry went back to plumbing in 1989. After plumbing again for a few years he started applying to become an extra board firefighter for the City of Lawrence and was hired in 1994. He served as an extra-board for approximately 3 years while still plumbing. He was hired full-time and earned the rank of Engineer, EMTI. He continued to work for Stuart Plumbing Company on his off days from firefighting and was perplexed that he would be tired after working an 80-hour week. Larry retired as a firefighter in December 2014. His latest business venture was as a Master Plumber and plumbing contractor, owning and operating Excel Plumbing Company, LLC. He often told others that he would work until he died. He did work a full day on February 8 – he was right.

He was a man of great faith and strength. He lived hard, he loved hard, he laughed hard and he was taken too early. His family believes there was not a thing or person he touched that was not better for it. They will miss him forever.

Memorial Contributions may be made in his name to American Cancer Society and Zion International Ministries, Inc. and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

15 Condolences

  1. Dana Bateson on February 13, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Oh Cathy I am so sorry Bless you and your family in this difficult time

  2. Gary L. Wheeler on February 13, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Cathy, my blessings and prayers to you and the Hess family

  3. Gayla and Dennis Waymire on February 13, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Cathy, Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Our hearts go out to you.

  4. Robert Cannon on February 13, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I’m very sorry and please let me know if you need anything at all. Thoughts and prayers.

    ‘Loss leaves a heartache that will never heal but love leaves a memory that no one can steal’

  5. Diane&Mike Leming on February 13, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Cathy and family, sure was sorry to see the loss of Larry!our deepest sympathy. What a wonderful guy he was.

  6. diana Myers ' on February 14, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Cathy , i’m so sorry for all of your loss…. Love Diana and Jim Myers

  7. Stephanie Wilson on February 15, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Catherine and Bethany,

    I was so sorry to hear about Larry. My heart goes out to you both and to the rest of your family.

  8. Lexie Engleman on February 15, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Larry. What a great guy he was. I so enjoyed working with him on the Fire Department. He was a fantastic engineer and firefighter. He will truly be missed.

  9. Susan Bonham on February 15, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I remember you telling me about how much the two of you loved one another. My sincere condolences to you and Bethany.

  10. George and Sue Trible on February 16, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    George and I are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers go with you and your family.

  11. Allen D Johnson on February 16, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    What a heartache this was to learn of Larry’s passing. I really enjoyed working with him on my crew. He will be truly missed.

  12. Dawn & A.C. Walter on February 17, 2018 at 10:42 am

    We are so sorry to see that Larry has passed. I have so many great memories of you guys being our neighbors when you lived on the farm. It was like having an older brother and sister just up the road. There was never a dull moment and you were always keeping each other “on your toes”. What a great role model Larry has been to your children and everyone around him. Our prayers are for you all to find peace in knowing that Larry is looking down and smiling on his greatest project ever, his loving wife and family!

  13. Ginny Bass on February 19, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Adam I was so shocked to hear about your Dad’s sudden death. It sounds like he was an amazingly talented man. So you inherited your many talents. So soppy this happened so soon begfore your Wedding. he will certainly be their in the hearts of many. I hope you are all progressing in your shock and grief. Love “Aunt Ginny”

  14. Mary Prewitt on March 8, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Catherine, I’m sorry to learn of Larry’s death. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  15. Ann House on March 12, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Your in my thought and prayers and go out to the whole family…keep ahold of all those precious memories!!
    Ann Frenya House

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