Hess, Virginia

Hess, Virginia Krause

Virginia Krause Hess, 98, world-renowned artist and sculptor passed away on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at the Sycamore Springs Rehab Facility in Miamisburg, Ohio. She was born and raised in New Carlisle, Ohio and lived her entire life in Western Ohio. She was the daughter of Albert Krause and Vadna (Gardner) Krause, both pharmacists. Virginia's mother was reportedly the second woman Registered Pharmacist in the State of Ohio. Virginia's art education began at the age of 11 with a scholarship to attend the Dayton Art Institute and continued through her high school years in New Carlisle.

After graduation, she was employed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base beginning at the age of 16 as an illustrator. During her time there, she produced numerous airplane silhouettes of both foreign and domestic aircraft for identification purposes during the Second World War. These drawings were used on posters and playing cards to educate United States military personnel of multiple services. During this work assignment, she also was qualified for her private airplane flight license.

After concluding her WPAFB employment, she attended Southern Seminary to proceed with her education. She later transferred to the Art Academy of Cincinnati where she accepted education scholarships and modeled for the Shillito's Department Store. She continued to attend and taught at the School of the Dayton Art Institute and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Dayton in 1961.

She married Fredrick Lee Hess in 1946. Her wonderful husband, Fred, died in 2006. Together they raised three children, Peter Hess, Kristina Hess and Victoria (Hess) Bender. Vicki and husband Todd have two children: Kyle Bender (Jessica) and Chloe Johnston (Russ). Kyle and Jessica Bender have three children; Chloe and Russ Johnston have one child. In addition to her beloved family, she leaves many good friends, especially Jim McCoy who she met later in life and became a very special friend and soulmate.

Virginia has numerous works on both public and private display throughout the world. Her portrait work has caused her talents to be both, nationally and internationally renowned. She has won many awards and has been a part of many shows and exhibitions, both private and public. Mrs. Hess has also provided input as a lecturer, panel member or juror in many exhibitions. She specialized in oil paintings and portraits, portrait bas reliefs and busts, free standing figures in aluminum, bronze, terra cotta and wood, monumental sculptures, pen and ink and pencil drawings.

She was awarded the Ohioana for the Field of Arts in 1994, for her dedication as a teacher, sculptor, and painter. She was a popular art educator as well as an artist having taught at the Springfield Ohio Arts Center, School of the Dayton Art Institute, and the Cincinnati Art Academy.

She received a Certificate of Recognition from the Centerville, Ohio Mayor and City Council as a result of her lifetime efforts to share the beauty of art with the community, her many "one-man" shows, awards, and prizes. She continued to accept commissions and produced sculptures, drawings, and paintings until the age of 98.

Virginia Hess has 29 bronze busts of Charlie Taylor, the first aeronautical mechanic who worked for the Wright Brothers, on public exhibit at numerous places throughout the world. Locations in the Dayton area include Carillon Park, Wright State University, and The National Museum of the United States Air Force. Duplicates of these sculptures also reside prominently at the San Diego Air & Space Museum; Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA; Southwest Airlines; United States Air Force Academy; the United Terminal at Chicago's O'Hare Airport; four American Airlines facilities and in Pau, France. The bust of Taylor has been on public display since it was unveiled at The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum at the Udvar-Hazy Center in August 2006.

She was very proud to be part of a motivating factor to encourage multiple generations of airplane mechanics to do their very best. Two aeronautical mechanic's unions have used many of these sculptures to help embrace work perfection through their Charles Taylor Awards. Those unions are the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA).

Her other Dayton area works on public display include bronze bas reliefs or sculptures located in, Dave Hall Plaza, Stubbs Park in Centerville, Ohio, the Veterans Center at Wright State University and Dayton Children's Hospital.

Her memorial service/celebration of her life will take place on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2023. Before you think about her on that day, she would have wanted you to vote your conscience.

Other than a confirmation of the date, additional arrangements have not yet been determined except that the family wants her celebration of life to be a hybrid event (both in person and online) so her friends all over the world can share the experiences they had with this wonderful, vivacious, and prolific artist. Those interested in participating in her life celebration in any way are encouraged to contact her family either through email addressing, HessArt (at) woh.rr.com or through The Hess Family, PO Box 49689, Dayton, Ohio 45449-0689.

In lieu of flowers, the Hess family asks that everyone purchase and enjoy some good art and/or donate in her name to the Dayton Art Institute, Springfield (Ohio) Museum of Art, the Rosewood Art Center through the Kettering (Ohio) Parks Foundation and/or Wright State University.

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