Kurtis C. Hess ’63

Kurtis C. Hess ’63 of Irvington began his final journey on April 25, 2007, after a seven-year battle with He taught for twenty years at Union Theological Seminary–PSCE in Richmond, serving as director of field education and placement and as director of institutional effectiveness. In 1958, he spearheaded a petition to overturn Gov. Lindsay Almond’s decision to avoid integration by closing schools in Prince Edward County. Look magazine called Dr. Hess “Dixie’s Newest Rebel,” attracting nation-wide attention of the press for this historic meeting. At Davidson, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. He was a graduate of Union Theological Seminary-PSCE, and McCormick Seminary. He served three churches: Faison Presbyterian Church (N.C.), Mt. Horeb Presbyterian Church (Va.) and Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church (Va.). As presbytery executive of the Blue Ridge, he was a staunch advocate of female clergy, introducing a large number to the Presbyterian Church. In 1981, he established the TASTE of Ministry, training young pastors during their first years of ministry. In the fall of 2005, Union named him professor emeritus of supervised ministry. Dr. Hess authored multiple manuals, book and quick reference guide for church government. Recently, Kurtis served as an advocate for the elderly as Chaplain of Palliative Care at Rappahannock General Hospital. Survivors include his wife, of forty-one years, Jean C. Hess, PO Box 2269, Kilmarnock, Va. 22482-2269; daughters Karen H. Carr and husband Peter; Susan H. Pickeral and husband Doug; son John K. Hess and wife Kimberly; seven grandchildren; Jessica, Crystal, Rachel, Alexis, Eleanor, April and Allison; mother, Dorothy M. Hess; brother, Ronald Hess.