The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Walter I. Hess


July 6, 2018

HURLEY, Wis. - Walter I. Hess, 86, of 308 Iron St., Hurley, passed away on Sunday, July 1, 2018, following a brief illness.

Walt was born on May 11, 1932, in Chicago, Ill., son of the late Irwin and Catherine (Bruen) Hess. He attended schools in the Chicago area before enlisting and serving in the U.S. Army from 1953 to November 1955. After his honorable discharge from the Army, he was employed by Motorola in both the Chicago and Schaumburg, Ill., areas for 33 years, retiring in 1988.

Walt was a member of the National Ski Patrol and began skiing at Indianhead Mountain in 1965.

Following a motorcycle accident where Walt lost his leg and wanting to continue his passion for downhill skiing, he worked hard and became a very accomplished one-legged skier. He shared his passion with others and become very instrumental in teaching downhill skiing to other handicapped individuals who came to Indianhead.

Walt moved to Ironwood, Mich., when he retired. He did extensive computer work for Indianhead Mountain Resort from 1989-2005. During that time, he was also an integral part of the Indianhead Ski Patrol and was responsible on weekends to schedule the hill closing. His most memorable quote will always be, "It's 4 o'clock, time to shut her down."

Along with his love for skiing, Walt also took pleasure in traveling with his motorhome during the summer season. He also had a great love for animals and over the years he had several golden retrievers who were very special to him.

Walt has an extensive Ski Patrol family who will greatly miss him. Per Walt's request, there will be no service. His patrol family is planning a celebration of Walt's life to take place this fall.

A special thank you also needs to go out to the staff of Skyview Manor. Everyone there was instrumental in making sure Walt was well cared for.

Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home, Bessemer, is assisting the family.

For more information or to give online condolences, please visit


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