Obituary: William Hess

William Charles Hess: November 28, 1967 - October 5th, 2020

William lived, loved and breathed the outdoors. His wild, rugged personality took him far from the cities of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan where he was born and raised. Called by nature to northern Michigan, he ran sled dogs, cared for horses, trapped beavers, tanned hides, wove backpacks and baskets from cedar bark and literally lived off the land. He hitchhiked across the country to see the Pacific coast, falling in love with northern California and the forest of McCloud, at the base of Mount Shasta.

William’s explosive laughter and propensity to be of service blessed us all, and we will miss him greatly. He was an honest man of generous heart, strong work ethic, and a determination to lead a simple, yet meaningful life. William always loved a good fire. Wherever he stayed, he saw to it that there was always a mountain of firewood. He has recently left us to have his final fire, but only on this earthly plateau.

Survived by his loving wife, Jill Vogel; young son Asher Hess Vogel; daughter Alexandrea and son William; mother Mary; brother George (Jennifer); sister Patrice (Teresa); grandchildren Kirra & Kayde, Heidi & Arlo; nieces & nephews Kylie, Christine, Stephan & Brendan

We are collecting memories and stories for a celebration of life, planned for late spring. Please email

Posted online on November 25, 2020