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Obituary – August “Chris” Hesse

August “Chris” Christian Hesse, born on November 25, 1936, in Rolla, Missouri, peacefully passed away on January 17, 2024, in Fargo, North Dakota, at Essentia Health Hospital.

In 1956, Chris began his career by joining the Air Force as a Radar Maintenance Technician. On June 16, 1962, he married his beloved wife, Joyce Schauer, in Park Rapids, Minn., and embarked on a life filled with adventure and love. While in the Air Force, he was stationed in various locations, including Finley, Minn.; Wadena, Minn.; Unalakleet, Alaska; Biloxi, Miss.; Panama City, Fla.; Goose Bay, Labrador, Newfoundland; Key West, Fla.; Melbourne, Fla.; and Minot, N.D. Chris and Joyce raised four children, 7 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

Chris retired from the Air Force in 1977, moving the family to Fargo, N.D. He worked for the West Fargo School District for a short period of time while building their home. He began working for the Federal Aviation Association as a Radar Maintenance Technician until his retirement as Supervisor in 1998, accumulating a remarkable 40.5 years of combined military and federal service.

He was an active member of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, WIT (Winnebago Itasca Travelers), NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association), and the American Legion. He was honored with a trip to Washington, D.C., as part of the Veteran’s Honor Flight of N.D./Minn. in 2017.

A true enthusiast, Chris enjoyed attending car shows and driving in parades with his fully restored 1929 Oakland. He was a skilled handyman, having built their family home. He found joy in fishing, woodworking, collecting Hess trucks, going on cruises, traveling to places like Branson, Mo., and attending concerts.

Chris is survived by his devoted wife, Joyce Elizabeth Hesse, Frontier, N.D., and cherished children: Joe Hesse (Bernadine), Hawley, Minn., Kelly Bernhardson, New Braunfels, Texas, Christy Bjorgan, Vergas, Minn., and Cathy Ford (Timothy), Brandon, Minn.; his grandchildren Melissa (Andre) Miranda, Tyler (Maria) Curfman, Kaitlyn (Jack) Fariss, Tristan Ford, Dianna (Dustin) Clemens, Abbigail (Steven) Horner, and Amanda Hesse, and great-grandchildren Killian and Kollin Clemens, Luis and Liam Miranda, Trenton and Eli Curfman and Mallory Fariss. He is also survived by his sibling, Keith (Pat) Hesse, of Boulder, Colo. Chris was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and OrLou (Stair) Hesse.

A funeral service was held Monday, January 22, 2024, at West Funeral Home, West Fargo, N.D., at 10:30 a.m.

Burial was at 1 p.m. Monday at Fargo National Cemetery. Military Honors were provided by U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and Fargo Memorial Honor Guard.

The family appreciates your thoughts and prayers during this time. Condolences may be sent to his family via

Chris will be dearly missed but forever remembered for his love, laughter, and the lasting impact he had on the lives of those fortunate enough to know him. May he rest in peace.

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