In memory of
Rev. Hudson Smalley Hess
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In memory of
Rev. Hudson Smalley Hess
HOUGHTON - Rev. Hudson Smalley Hess, a former resident of Houghton, died Friday (April 13, 2018) in Lynchburg, Va. He was born May 9, 1934 in Zamboanga City, Philippines, a son of the late Robert Reuel and Mary Viola Roth Hess. He married Lucy Mae Mears, who survives. Robert and Viola were missionaries to the Philippines with the Christian & Missionary Alliance. At age 7, Hudson and his family were captured by Japanese soldiers and held in internment camps in the Philippines for 2 ½ years before they were rescued by American soldiers on Feb. 23, 1945. Details of the rescue are recorded in the History Channel documentary, "Rescue At Dawn: The Los Banos Raid" and in the children's book, "Captured by Arlene Hess Elkins" (Hudson's older sister). Hudson met Lucy Mae Mears while they attended Houghton College, and they graduated together in 1955. Wanting to see his former captors in a different light, and prompted by General Douglas MacArthur's plea for missionaries, Hudson went to Japan with The Oriental Missionary Society and served two years on an Every Creature Crusade team, visiting households and distributing gospel literature. He returned to the U.S. in 1958, married Lucy, and enrolled in electronics training at RCA Institutes in New York City to prepare for overseas radio ministry. Rev. Hess was ordained in the Wesleyan Church and pastored a Wesleyan congregation in Lyndonville for two years before being commissioned for missionary service to Haiti in 1964. Hudson and Lucy served with OMS International in Haiti from 1964 to 1995, where he served as Director of Radio 4VEH, taught Bible and electronics at Emmaus Vocational Bible School, and advised the national church. He is known by many for his love of trees and plants, and for his grafting and reforestation projects. The Hesses' service with OMS also included a brief term in France and an itinerant prayer ministry in the U.S. Rev. Hess founded Family Life Outreach in Haiti in 1995 with a vision to equip Haitians with vocational skills, enabling them to support their families, churches and communities. FLO's projects included gardening, tree planting and the translation of a Biblical Counseling manual into the Kreyol language. Surviving, in addition to his loving wife of nearly 60 years, are their six children, Beth (Richard) Pocock of Swannanoa, N.C., Bonnie (Timothy) Tamura of Tokorozawa, Japan, Becky (David) Samuels of Charlotte, N.C., Beverly (Gary) Reddaway of Pleasant Hill, Miss., Brenda (Craig) Osterhus of Lynchburg, Va., and Barbara (Christopher) Fraschetti of Houghton; 20 grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; his siblings, Arlene Elkins of Kansas City, Kan., Bruce Hess of Houghton, Lois Yankowski of Apalachin, Victor Hess of Waxhaw, N.C., Philip Hess of Mankato, Minn.; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a grandchild. Family and friends may gather from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday (April 20, 2018) at the Kopler-Williams Funeral Home, 21 N. Genesee St., Fillmore, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday (April 21, 2018) at the Houghton Wesleyan Church, where a funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Rev. Dr. Wesley Oden will officiate. Burial will be in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Houghton. Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Hudson Hess Memorial Fund, Online condolences may be made at
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