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Donald J. Hess

Donald J. Hess, of Hershey, passed away on Friday, January 15, 2021. Don was born August 23, 1926, in Hazleton, PA. Having lost both of his parents at the age of 9, he was admitted to The Hershey Industrial School or “HIS” (later known as the Milton Hershey School).  His pride and gratitude were unrivaled and everlasting, both for “Mr. Hershey” and the opportunities that the school opened for him.  He became an HIS alumnus in 1945 though he missed his graduation when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He served his country working on planes in Austria during WWII. When he returned home, he went to play baseball for the St Louis Cardinals’ farm team. He later returned to Hershey where he met Carolyn Schwenk and her family, who took him in as their own. Carolyn and Don then married on October 1, 1949. 

His over 71 years of marriage with Carolyn were full of blessings and adventures and he had a long career, retiring from AMP, Inc. The family relocated to California for a time, though later returned to Hershey. He and Carolyn loved traveling, having visited 47 countries together.   

He enjoyed walking, exercising, talking with others and making them smile. He was a founding member and distinguished President of the Hershey Optimist Club for over 30 years and was also a past President of the Milton Hershey School Alumni Association. 

Don was so loved and will be missed by many. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and their daughters: Donna Duppstadt (Dan); Susan Boroughs (Ray); and Nancy Frattarole (Mark). He is also survived by his grandchildren: Jason, Chad, Ryan, Lauren, Reid, Elizabeth and Anthony; and 12+ great grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family.

Contributions can be made to his church of more than 70 years, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 212 Cocoa Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033.

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