“He always gave to his wife and children or anyone else he saw in need,” agreed his oldest son Michael, daughter Theresa, and Joseph, his youngest child, regarding their father, Max Hess. “He always supported our sports events, including basketball, football, and baseball. That’s how we best remember our time with our dad.”
Every summer, our father and mother, Dorrine (now also deceased), took a vacation in August. A most memorable trip was our visit to The Vatican. We enjoyed the Vatican Gardens, which is located behind The Vatican. It was like going back 2000 years in time because we say St Peter’s original tomb, told Joseph. Our dad loved his friends, and his friends loved him. They became a part of our family, Michael also remarked. Dad worked hard like the energizer bunny but always remained caring. We remember how quiet he always was at the dinner table, but all the children loved to hear his childhood stories of growing up in Red Mountain, Johannesburg, and the Randsburg area.
Theresa said she especially remembers their trip to Switzerland, where her grandfather, John Max Hess, was born. My father, Max, was of Pueblo Indian, Mexican, and Swiss descent.
When we arrived in Switzerland, the Hess family greeted our family. They met us in one of the four Hess castles in Switzerland. It was on the border of Austria and Switzerland.
My grandfather, John Max Hess, spoke four languages. He died in 1974. Max’s mother, Frances, and his father and our father, Max, are buried in the Johannesburg Cemetery. The Hess’s last home was at the King Solomon Mine in Johannesburg, where John Max was the caretaker of the mine. The cabin still stands just above the Johannesburg Cemetery.
Our father was very involved in the St Ann Catholic Church in Ridgecrest. He was a Legion of Mary and St Vincent DePaul Society member.
The roses are still blooming that he planted around the church and school. He helped build the grotto and statue of the Blessed Mary. It will, for generations, stand as a tribute to our dad.
Michael related that when he was two years old, he fell out of a tree and was unconscious for two days. My dad told God that if he would save his son, he would go back to church. He not only went back but became a staunch member and supporter.
Our grandfather, John Max, was 80% responsible for building the Catholic Santa Barbara Mission in Randsburg.
Monsignor Pointek would gather his flock at the church every Christmas and sing Silent Night in German, his native language.
Our dad has a “wall of fame” in his home in Ridgecrest with pictures of the children’s sports events and other activities.
Dad was one of the founding members and officers of the Dead Owls car club. He was one of the oldest survivors born in Dr. Drummonds’s hospital in Red Mountain. He was a fierce competitor in basketball and baseball, fast as lightning. He was awarded a partial scholarship to Pepperdine University.
He will always remain close to our hearts.