Cover photo for James Ray Hess's Obituary

James Ray Hess

December 1, 1936 — October 2, 2021

James Ray Hess

James Ray "Jim" Hess, 84, passed away Saturday, October 2, 2021, in San Angelo.

Family visitation will be from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM Thursday, October 7, 2021, at Robert Massie Funeral Home. Memorial Services will be at 5:00 PM Thursday, October 7, 2021, at the Stephens Chapel at Angelo State University.

Coach Hess was born December 1, 1936 in Farmersville, Texas. He was a 1955 graduate of Farmersville High School. Jim married Carol Baze on June 21, 1957 in Farmersville. He then received his bachelor's degree in history from Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he attended on a football scholarship and his master's degree in education from North Texas State University. Jim started his coaching career in Farmersville then coached at McKinney High School, Rockwall High School, Kilgore High School, Rice University, Baytown Sterling High School, Angelo State University, Stephen F. Austin University, and New Mexico State University. While successful throughout his coaching career, highlights include: winning the 2A Texas State Championship in 1963 at Rockwall and the NAIA National Championship at Angelo State in 1978; being recognized as the Coach of the Year by the Lone Star Conference in 1977, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1978, and the Big West Conference in 1992; and being inducted into the Angelo State Hall of Honor in 2010. Additionally, Jim was a co-founder of the Angelo Football Clinic which has for decades been recognized as the largest and best football clinic in Texas. Following his coaching career, he was a college scout for the Dallas Cowboys and later worked for Daktronics. Jim was a member of the Johnson Street Church of Christ.

While Jim enjoyed great success on the field, his greater success was the impact he had on the players and his fellow coaches. Many players remarked that they are the men they are today because of Coach Hess.

In addition to his wonderful relationships with his players and coaches, his family was his pride and joy. His most loving and steadfast supporter was his beloved wife of 64 years, Carol, without whose sacrifice and devotion his success would not have been possible. He was and remains dearly loved by his two daughters, Kim and Terri, who were blessed to call him "Daddy." And he was Papa to 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, many of whom were with him his final day.

In addition to his wife and two daughters, survivors include Kim's husband Blane Williams of Bella Vista, Arkansas, and Terri's husband Mike Garatoni of San Antonio; grandchildren, Tara Joiner, Lauren Guins and husband Cody of Christoval, Ali Hill and husband Casey of Memphis, Tennessee, Peter Garatoni and wife Whitney of Houston, Courtney Jezek and husband Travis of Midland, Jared Williams of Castle Rock, Colorado, and Michael Garatoni of San Antonio; 10 great grandchildren, Ketcher, Ali Rose, Kate, Mary, Emmerson, Tucker, Henry, Brazos, Anita, and Rosie. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Willie Hess; and special aunts and an uncle.

The family would like to thank Kindred Home, the caregivers of Visiting Angels, especially sweet Anna and Sarah Martinez, Medical Arts, and Ballinger rehab, who went above and beyond to extend the length and quality of Jim's life.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Angelo State Athletics, Angelo State Scholarships, the Ram Pantry, or a charity of your choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Ray Hess, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Starts at 5:00 pm (Central time)

Stephens Chapel at Angelo State University

2601 West Avenue N, San Angelo, TX 76904

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