REV. DAVID A. HESS...
...Lived a full and versatile life of 92 years, married the love of his life, M. Katherine while they were students at Olivet Nazarene College. They were married 73 years, having raised 5 children, with 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and 5 great, great grandchildren, bringing love, joy and faith to each.
The main thrust of David and Kathie's lives has been ministry, outreach and music. He came to the Lord at the age of five while listening to "The Children's Bible Hour" on the radio and ended up singing for the same program at five years old. He became an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 1964. They pastored 7 churches and, as an architect built churches, parsonages and homes. They were sent to resurrect churches and assist other churches with their building programs (stopped counting at 22). They served 12 years as full-time pastors, then as evangelists. David later received his Master's Degree at Olivet Nazarene College. For his Doctoral Dissertation on "The Mission and Vision of Olivet Nazarene College, A Historical Sketch," he extensively researched and interviewed the founders of Olivet Nazarene College (now University). A commemorative plate was issued in his name.
Due to family health issues, David's ministry took the direction of the field of Gerontology. For five years he served as the administrator of R. J. Graff Remotivation & Research Unit (five buildings) of geriatric patients, receiving international recognition for successfully dealing with the whole person (in Christ), leading to a recidivism rate of one percent. Out of concern for decent placement for outgoing patients, he founded Retirement Villages, Inc., serving four years as President.
After moving to Lakeland, Florida, David and Kathie worked with the Nazarene Churches, Bayshore Methodist Church in Tampa, and assisted at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Mulberry, FL. At All Saints' Episcopal Church in Lakeland, FL., he worked with Hospital Ministries under Father Ron Davis, and both David and Kathie were part of the Order of St. Luke's Prayer Ministry. At one point, he headed up the Lakeland Ministerial Association. As an outreach, he worked with different community organizations, including serving as a Chaplain for the Lakeland Police Department. He enjoyed interacting with others. In later years, he attended Sunday Service and Wednesday Bible Studies with Rev. Dr. Reid Hensarling at All Saints' Episcopal Church. He led the singing for the Wednesday service and attended Sunday evening service at Lake Gibson Church of the Nazarene. David enjoyed the special music programs at both churches, as well as at Lake Gibson United Methodist. He enjoyed visiting with those acquaintances and staff he knew when he went for coffee--bringing a smile, conversation, and at times prayer. He always had a love for reading, community and national news, ministries and family. He wrote the lyrics and music for a good number of songs. David wrote several books: Plug Into God; Marvelous and Wonderful Is Our God; Beside Still Waters; Through Turbulent Seas, sharing how God touched peoples' lives at different times throughout our lives. There are a wealth of experiences and memories that are shared by the many lives that he and his wife Kathie came in contact with throughout their 92 years and 73 years of marriage.
We are grateful for the time he had with all his family and friends over the years. He was preceded by his parents, his brother, a daughter and an infant son and other relatives and friends with whom he has joined before the throne singing with joyful praise! His wife Kathie and family and friends are grateful for his love. We hope that you share with us as we remember him and anticipate seeing him and those who preceded us in worship before the throne. Thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ for the love, joy, and grace He gives to us each and every day of our lives!
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