Imogene Redd Hess, our loving mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at the age of 94 in San Diego, CA.
Imogene Redd Hess, known as Jimmie, was born in Blanding, UT, to Amasa Jay and Alice Marie Ekins Redd. She was the oldest of six children, who include Wyman H., Stephen E., Alene Roberts, A. Mason, and J. Whitney Redd.
She accompanied her parents on two LDS missions to California before she was 10 years old. There she had her first exposure to dancing lessons.
She became her mother’s right arm in helping at home and with younger siblings. At the age of 15 she cared for the home and three younger siblings while her parents travelled.
Her role in the family developed devotion to them throughout her life.
She graduated from Utah State University in 1937 in Physical Education. That department was the umbrella for the dance program.
It was there that she met Benjamin Knowlton Hess. Ben said, “Anything is pretty, as long as it is Redd.”
They were married in 1942, and their family now includes three daughters, Lindalee (Lindy) (Rich) Anderson, Stephanie Hess, and Benni Kay Connally; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Ben volunteered for army service during WWII and she accompanied him on his various assignments until he was sent overseas. Her dad asked her to return home to help him in his L.H. Redd Mercantile. When Ben returned from the war, they made their home in Monticello, where he developed his own love for San Juan County.
She worked hard and played well. Ben and Jimmie were the proprietors of Hess Motor Lodge, Silver Coin Laundromats in Monticello, Chinle and Ganado, AZ and other businesses.
She was one of the first women to jeep Canyonlands National Park along with Thelma Walton and Mildred Odette. She was introduced to river running with friends, Norman and Doris Nevills, the first commercial river guides.
Her tender touch, unmatched dinner rolls, caramel popcorn, open-door policy, and unconditional love will be dearly missed.
As Jimmie left the Afula, Israel hospital, the non-English speaking caregivers offered their farewell to her, “Lovely lady, we love you.”
Card of thanks
The family sends a special thanks to the Monticello Fourth Ward for their assistance with the funeral services. They also feel deep gratitude to all who created a place that was always home for Jimmie.
Lindy Anderson & families
Stephanie Hess & families
BenniKay Connally & families