TORRINGTON – James Eugene Hess was born Jan. 24, 1941, in Scottsbluff, Neb. He passed from this world at age 77 on Aug. 17, 2018, in Torrington. He is survived by his wife Shirley of Torrington; son Robert of St. Louis, Mo.; daughter Dana of Arvada, Colo.; and son Mark of Colorado Springs, Colo. Jim has three granddaughters and three grandsons.
Jim grew up in Henry, Neb., where he attended school until the eighth grade, when he transferred to Torrington High School. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Colorado Teachers College in Greeley and a master’s from Central Missouri State University. Jim taught junior high and high school and coached in Hawk Springs from 1963 to 1964 and then in Yuma, Colo., from 1964 to 1980, where he taught history and driver’s education.
In 1980, he purchased the Big A Auto Parts store (later Carquest Autoparts) at Highway 34 and Main in Yuma. After 20 successful years, Jim sold the business in 2000. He worked for the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper and then part-time for Agri Inject in Yuma until his retirement.
Jim was a staple in Yuma community theater in the mid to late 80’s and also served on the Yuma city council. He announced Yuma Indian football games for years and was the voice for the Yuma and Bill Kalb Track Invitational for decades. If you were part of the starting five on the Yuma Indians basketball team from the 1970’s to the mid 1980’s, Jim introduced you to the home crowd. He filled U.S. history full of humor and taught a generation of high school kids to drive – though he often commented it wasn’t too hard to do so in a community full of farm kids who had been driving since age 10.
He always had a handshake and a lighthearted quip ready for family, friends and hundreds of former students. His motto was, “I will give you a little more than you expect, and then maybe you will do the same for me.”
He will be missed by all.