Reverend Robert M. Hess, 93, of Cary, was welcomed into his Savior’s arms on Saturday, January 22, 2022. He was born on April 7, 1928, in Goshen, Indiana, where The Heavenly Father claimed him as his own child through the waters of Holy Baptism.
Robert felt the Lord’s call to the ministry as a child and attended high school at Concordia in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He graduated from Concordia College in Milwaukee and attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He met the true love of his life, Amalia Melcher, during his vicarage at Redeemer Lutheran Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in May 1953 and married Amalia two months later on July 19, 1953. She shared in his ministry and served alongside him as the church organist for the next fifty years.
In 1953 God called his servant Robert to Trinity Lutheran Church in Sulphur, Louisiana. In 1956, Robert was called to Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Cary, Illinois. He loved his years at Holy Cross and cherished the members he served for 47 years. Two weeks after he retired from Holy Cross, Robert went on to serve as Chaplain at The Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He spent the next twelve years there as Chaplain and then Assistant Chaplain until he retired at age 89.
Robert also served the LCMS Northern Illinois District in many capacities: Editor of The Northern Light, the District Supplement to The Lutheran Witness from 1976-1986, Member of the NID Board of Directors, Member of the Polity Commission for 25 years, Assistant District Secretary from 1970-1985, District Secretary from 1985-1994, and Vice President for several terms, including 1st Vice President. In addition, Robert served on the Board of Directors of The Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights from 1988-2000, was Chairman of the North Region Pastoral Conference 1994-1996, and served on various community committees including United Way.
Robert continued his education at Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis where he earned a Master of Arts in Religion (1969), Master of Divinity (1972), and Master of Sacred Theology (1985). Robert faithfully served in active ministry for 65 years.
Robert Hess is survived by his children: Charles (Mary) Hess (Sheboygan, WI), Dorothea (Mark) Chianakas (Cary, IL), and Rebeca (Bill) Crossley (Goshen, NY); grandchildren Jennifer (Craig) Liermann, Michelle (Chris) Reeves, Karah (Matt) Veldhoff, Jordyn (Austin) Kornov, Renee (Kyle) Wallschlaeger, Nathan Crossley, Rachel Chianakas, Colin (Swathi) Crossley, Laura Chianakas, Austin Crossley; Sister Marilyn Hess Klein, 13 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and loving friends. Robert is preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Lucinda (Schlundt) Hess, cherished wife, Amalia Melcher Hess, granddaughter Hannah Rebecca Crossley, and grandson Robert Charles Hess.
Pastor Hess will be remembered for being a faithful minister to his churches throughout his ministry. His family also knew him as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was kind to everyone he met, modeled Christ, and believed that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. He was a humble man who shared the love of Christ with all people, and he was faithful to Him every day of his life.
A visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 30, 2022, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 2107 Three Oaks Rd., Cary, IL 60013, and a funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 31, 2022, also at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Burial will be at Windridge in Cary, Illinois.
Memorials may be made to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church (stained glass window fund), or LCMS Northern Illinois District.
Masks are required at the wake and funeral.