Melvin “Herb” Hess -- Rochester

August 5, 2018 GMT

Melvin “Herb” Hess, age 66, of Rochester, died Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, at home, surrounded by his family.

Melvin Richard Hess was born Feb. 17, 1952, in Rochester to Eugene and Beneda (Schatz) Hess. He was raised on the family farm near Grand Meadow. Herb attended Stewartville schools, graduating from high school in 1970, where he lettered in wrestling. He worked at the Stewartville Elevator before starting his career with UPS.

On Oct. 15, 1977, he married Kay Marie Becker in Chatfield. The couple made their home in Rochester. For more than 45 years, Herb was a driver for UPS. His route was in the Leroy, Adams and Elkton areas in southern Minnesota. Many people knew him as “Smiley,” and he loved to honk his horn and wave at everyone.


Herb was a member of Evangel United Methodist Church, where he served as head usher for many years and went on mission trips. He was also a member of the Teamsters Local No. 638. His first love was his family and he especially enjoyed being “Grandpa.”

He enjoyed reading all the cards and phone calls that people shared with him over the past months, and the family would like to thank everyone (especially those from his UPS route) for their caring and kind words. He loved to tinker in his garage and enjoyed gardening and being at the farm. Herb was known to help anyone who needed it and loved being around people.

Survivors include his wife, Kay; daughters, Ann (Michael) Kahn of Dover and Christina (Thomas) Miles of Rochester; his son, Jeffrey (Trisha) of Altura; grandchildren, Abby and Emily Miles and Owen and Samson Kahn; his mother, Beneda Hess of Rochester; and two brothers, Jerome (Jackie) of Lakeville and Brian (Gabi) of Rochester. He was preceded in death by his father, Eugene.

The memorial service will be 11 a.m. Monday at Evangel United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Mark Rader and Jim Klepper officiating. Rev. Gwen Bohlke will be leading the graveside service. Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Mahn Family Funeral Home — Rochester Chapel and one hour before the service Monday at the church. Burial will be in the Chatfield Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Evangel United Methodist Church or Mayo Hospice.

The family would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation of the care that Herb received during his fight with cancer especially Dr. Brian Costello of Mayo Oncology and the team at Mayo Hospice. Friends may share a memory at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.