James “Jim” A. Hess, 93, passed peacefully on October 15, 2023. He was born in Oregon and was the son of the late Walter John Hess and Vera R. Hess.
Jim graduated from the University of Oregon and then joined the U.S. Air Force in 1953. He served his country for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot and retired a Lt. Colonel. While in the Air Force he met his wife, Pat, who also served in the U.S. Air Force. The couple married and had two children, Walter J. Hess, III and Suzette Victoria. Jim and Pat retired to Greenville, SC where he was a member of the Wade Hampton Masonic Lodge, the Moose Lodge 749, VFW, Post 9723, Christ Episcopal Church, and a Shriner. Jim’s travels spanned across the globe as a pilot and included many trips to national parks in an RV accruing a collection of hats along the way. He loved living in Greenville for as long as he could before going to live with his daughter.
Jim was a pillar of strength and kindness throughout his life to his family and friends. He left his legacy as a wonderful son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, pilot, military officer, and friend. He relished all these roles and served humbly in each. His nephews shared how excited they were when they learned Uncle Jim was flying a load of Emperor penguins to the Portland Zoo and then told them that the most difficult part of that mission was cleaning penguin poop out of the airplane!! Family was important to Uncle Jim and he found ways to be a part of their lives even from thousands of miles away.
His mental toughness and positivity throughout his lifetime and at the end of his life was so admirable. You would ask him “how are you doing?”, and he always said, “I’m doing great, how about you?” He was so proud of his grandchildren and was so happy when he became a great grandpa! He will be missed dearly.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Sue Victoria (Ricardo); his grandchildren, Scott Victoria (Carolyn) and Katherine Victoria; and great-grandson, Conrad James Victoria. He is also survived by his nephews, Lee Hess (Harvalee), Dan Hess (Kathie), and Mark Hess (Kathryn Southwick) and their families.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Patricia Hess, and his son, Walter J. Hess III.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, October 28th, from 12:30 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes, Downtown followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. in the Chapel. Entombment will be in the Mausoleum in Greenville Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Greenville, SC at https://www.shrinerschildrens.org/en/locations/greenville.
Friends are encouraged to share their favorite memories of Jim with the family by clicking on the button labeled “Leave A Message, Share A Memory” below.