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Couple celebrates 63 years of love

Donald and Jean Hess of Dunedin celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary with a three-day stay in the relaxing countryside of Haywards Heath, Brighton, England.

The couple married June 23, 1945, in Harrow, Middlesex, England.

As a teenager, Mrs. Hess was evacuated from England to New York state in 1940, where she lived with a foster family. She and Mr. Hess met while attending high school.

After graduation, Mr. Hess enlisted in the Army and was sent directly to fight in the Battle of the Bulge.

During this time, Mrs. Hess, then 19, had found employment in a bank, and was rooming with another evacuee in an apartment of their own. One day, she began feeling ill at work.

"When I got home, I fumbled with the apartment keys and fainted in front of elderly neighbor," Mrs. Hess explained. "A doctor was called who helped me into my apartment. He noted a heart murmur and told me about surgery available to cure it, and a week later I was recovering from open heart surgery in a Boston hospital."

Shortly after the operation, Mrs. Hess returned to England in hopes of being closer to her fiance, who was fighting in the European theater. But it would be another year before Mr. Hess would get leave to marry his sweetheart in the summer of 1945.

After the war, Mrs. Hess returned stateside on the Queen Mary. Mr. Hess, who had been released from military service, was waiting for her. In their time apart, he had worked on his father's farm, at General Motors, and then as a laboratory assistant at Kodak in Rochester, N.Y.

Mrs. Hess is a professional artist. Among her accomplishments are set designs for Ruth Eckerd Hall stage productions during the 1990s.

After 23 years at Kodak, Mr. Hess wanted a change and the couple pulled up stakes and returned to England where they operated a bed and breakfast in the village of Somerset, England, for three years. They decided to come here when Mrs. Hess developed arthritis in her hands.

Mrs. Hess is a member of the Florida Miniature Art Society, Dunedin Fine Art Gallery, Tampa Bay Pastel Society and Thursday Night Sketch Club.

The couple likes to garden and has two sons, two daughters and four grandchildren.

UCF senior recognized for accomplishments

Sarah Morgan of Palm Harbor was a recipient of the Dorothy Walker Ruggles Scholarship Award presented by the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. The association awarded three scholarships this year valued at $1,200 each to eligible students.

Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark presented the check and commemorative certificate to Morgan at the Election Service Center in Largo.

Morgan, a senior at the University of Central Florida majoring in political science, holds a 3.8 grade point average and is a member of several college honor societies and other service organizations. Clark's nomination of Morgan recognized her academic excellence, leadership, commitment, and passion for politics.

Applicants were required to be junior or senior students in a Florida college, registered to vote, majoring in political science, public administration, business administration, journalism or mass communication.

Countryside student named Eagle Scout

Kyle Minich, a member of Safety Harbor's Boy Scout Troop 43, was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout by the West Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Kyle directed the refurbishment of the memorial garden at Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalists in Odessa. In addition, a pet memorial was added to the site along with a fire circle for gatherings. The project was accomplished with volunteer labor and was funded through private donations as well as grants from the Brooker Creek Preserve's Community Outreach Project.

Minich, a junior at Countryside High School, is the son of Kent and Penny Minich of Safety Harbor.

Couple celebrates 63 years of love 06/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 19, 2008 9:55am]
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