Vail Harlan Hess, 90

Vail Harlan Hess, 90, of Grundy Center, went home to His Lord, Saturday, April 20, 2013, at the Grundy County Memorial Hospital Long Term Care, while under the care of Care Initiatives Hospice. Funeral Services will be held at First Baptist Church in Grundy Center on Friday, April 26, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. Pastor Mike Nemmers will officiate. Interment will follow at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Grundy Center. Visitation will be held at the Engelkes-Abels Funeral Home in Grundy Center on Thursday, April 25, 2013, from 5 to 7 p.m. Memorials may be directed to the First Baptist Church, 301 E. I Ave., Grundy Center. To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit our website at:

Vail was born Dec. 22, 1922, in Melrose Township in Grundy County to Ernest M. and Fanny A. (Smith) Hess. He grew up on a farm in Grundy County. He graduated from Conrad High School in 1940. After graduation he worked in Chicago, Ill., and came back to farm in Grundy County.

On Aug.18, 1945, Vail married Lorraine Kathryn Taylor at her parent’s home. He spent his life with Lorraine on their farm in Grundy County. He committed his life to Jesus Christ at an early age. This commitment was central to his life after that. Lorraine passed away in 2006.

Vail was a member of the First Baptist Church in Eldora for many years and currently was a member of the First Baptist Church in Grundy Center. He was a faithful member of both churches and loved his church family. He had the joy of knowing his children and grandchildren are Christians and will spend eternity with Him someday. His life was an example of Christ to his family and others he knew.

Vail enjoyed working the portion of ground that God allowed him. He also had been involved for several years with the Grundy County Farm Bureau and Grundy County Republican Party.

Survivors include his four children: Rebecca (Cork) Peterson, of Reinbeck; Patricia Bakker, of Grundy Center; Douglas Hess, of Pueblo, Colo., and Judith Hess. Also two grandsons: Todd (Sandra) Peterson, of Waterloo, and Robert (Heather) Bakker, of Waukee. Four great-grandchildren: Katelyn and Hailey Bakker and Vanessa and Caleb Peterson. Also surviving are two sisters: Maxine (Merle) Harmon, of Minneapolis, Minn., and Darlene (James) Conrod, of Cathlamet, Wash.; two sisters-in-law Betty Hess, of Grundy Center, and Clesta (Ernest) Keller, of Salem, Ind., and a brother-in-law, Ray Taylor, of Steamboat Rock; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife; parents, Ernest and Fanny Hess; brothers, Gerald and Gordon and sisters, Cecile Lindsey and Carol Timm.