JEFFERSON — Phyllis J. Hess, 89, of Jefferson, passed away on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, at Watertown Regional Medical Center.
Phyllis was born on April 2, 1930, the daughter of William and Hulda (Borchardt) Beilke.
She grew up in the Jefferson area, graduated from Jefferson High School and attended Martin Luther College of New Ulm, Minn., and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
On May 28, 1950, she married LeRoy Hess and the couple had two children and later purchased a farm on Popp Road. The couple loved the farm, and Phyllis lived there until LeRoy’s death in 2013.
Phyllis had many jobs including telephone operator at Wisconsin Bell in Jefferson, teacher at St. Peter’s Lutheran School in Helenville, proofreader at Johnson Hill Press in Fort Atkinson, librarian at East Elementary School in Jefferson, office clerk at Jefferson County Veterans Services, Deputy Register of Deeds and was elected Register of Deeds from 1987 to 1993.
Phyllis was a wonderful mother and grandmother. Her family remembers their time together on the farm — gardening and working in the lane, and how well she kept her house.
She made German food with skill, was a great listener, and had an ability to make the people in her life feel special.
Phyllis did have an opinion on most issues and didn’t mind sharing it. She always was willing to help right an injustice.
She loved her Lord and church, and had a deep appreciation for sacred music. Her memory is precious to her family and friends, and she will be missed.
Phyllis is survived by her children, Lorri (Gary) Hans of Jefferson and Daniel (Kim) Hess of Beloit; grandchildren, Ashley (Nate) Kuhl, Jonathan (fiancé Sara) Klein, Emma Hans, Abigail Puentes, Paul (Rebecca) Hans and Cindy (Troy) Johnson; great-grandchildren, Brenden, Isabelle, Sophia, Silas, Brock and a baby girl on the way. She also is survived by a number of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brothers, William, Orville, Norman, Elroy, Douglas and John; sisters, Elizabeth McDaniel, Delores “Bonnie” Maurer, Elfrieda Hill, and Winnifred in infancy.
The family would like to thank the ER and ICU departments of the Watertown Regional Medical Center for their care and also to express a sincere thank you to the staff of Heritage Homes of Watertown for the loving care provided, both physically and spiritually.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jefferson with the Rev. Matt Krenke presiding.
Visitation will be on Friday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service.
She will be buried at Union Cemetery following the funeral.
Memorials may be made to St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church of Jefferson.
Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home in Jefferson is caring for the family. To place an online condolence, please visit: