Sharon Hess, of Dowagiac

Published 8:35 am Saturday, March 5, 2022

Sharon Ruth Hess, 73, of Dowagiac, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, seamstress, cook, and family holiday host, died peacefully at 5:45 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, with family gathered around at her home following an extended illness. Her family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the hospice staff.

She was born on March 15, 1948, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Clifford J. and Maudene J. (Breedlove) Kennedy and came to Niles, Michigan as a child with her family. She was graduated from Niles High School, and took her first employment with the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company. She was later employed as a retail clerk at the former Benton Harbor, Michigan K-Mart for more than 20 years.

Mary enjoyed sewing and quilting, although being quite artistic she had designed in her mind far more themed collections of quilt squares than she had completed quilts. She had a passion for “antique thrifting,” again being able to look at a simple or worn piece of furniture and imagine that “someone” might refinish and upgrade it into a piece of fine furniture.

She enjoyed traveling, often to Missouri or Florida to visit family. She pleased her nearby family with her cooking and baking, making potato pancakes in a special manner, and having a great variety of baked (sweet) goods on-hand for the holiday celebrations that she hosted at home.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Cliff and Maudene Kennedy, and by a brother, Ronald Kennedy and Ron’s wife, Bonnie.

On Nov. 30, 1968, at Saint Mark Catholic Church in Niles, she married Ronald Eugene Hess with whom she celebrated last year the remarkable 53rd anniversary of their wedding.

Surviving family includes her husband Ron Hess, Sr. and their children, Ronald E. (Nicole) Hess, Jr. of Eau Claire, Michigan, Todd A. (Heather) Hess of Riverside, Michigan, Lisa (Randy) Werner of Scottsdale, Arizona, Brad (Pam) Hess of Eau Claire, and Sherie Hiler of Dowagiac; 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and Sharon’s brother, Timothy (Donna) Kennedy of Mentone, Indiana, and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral for Sharon Hess will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main St. in Niles by Chaplain Ellen Laan of Pro-Medica Heartland Hospice officiating. Committal will follow at Sumnerville Cemetery. The service will be available livestreamed on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page:

The family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday at the funeral home beginning at 10:00 a.m. Contributions in memory of Sharon may be made to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tennessee, 38106; Online condolences may be left at:

Sharon was clearly an active, creative, and imaginative individual with more thoughts and projects in her mind than anyone could accomplish in one life. She also found room to visit relatives, care for her children and grandchildren, and be a wife to Ron, Sr.; using well both the mind and heart that was given her by her Creator.