William E. "Bill" Hess, 88, of Van Buren died Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Fort Smith. He was born Jan. 5, 1926, in Fort Smith to Walter and Rachel O. Hays Hess. He was a graduate of Fort Smith High School and veteran of the U.S. Army, serving during World War II as a staff sergeant in Central Europe. He was a retired employee of OG&E where he served as district accountant in both Fort Smith and Van Buren during the span of 1946 to 1987.

His active community years were spent mainly in Van Buren where he served as president of the chamber of commerce, the Van Buren Rotary Club, the United Way Campaign, the Van Buren Boys Club, the Van Buren Planning Commission and the Van Buren Park Commission. After retirement he enjoyed traveling and his days of being one of the first, to volunteer as a station master for the Van Buren Train Station. He was a former member of First Baptist Church of Van Buren and current member of Grand Avenue Baptist Church of Fort Smith.

He is survived by one daughter, Jeanne Papet of Fort Smith; and one son, Tim Hess of Fort Smith. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Evelyn Ruth Bridges Hess.

Funeral service will be Friday at 10:30 a.m. in St. John’s Episcopal Church with burial to follow at U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be David Craig, Jackie Brown, Bob Calhoun, Sam Baker, Johnny Jack and Richard Longmate.

Honorary pallbearers will be retired employees of OG&E, Cecil Hesslen, Bill Intres and Warren Taylor.

The family will greet friends at Edwards Funeral Home on Thursday from 5-7 p.m.

Memorials may be made to the St. John’s Episcopal Church Music Ministry, 215 N. 6th St., Fort Smith, AR 72901 or the Sebastian County Humane Society, 3800 Kelley Highway, Fort Smith, AR 72904.

To sign an online guestbook visit www.edwardsfuneralhome.com.