Cover photo for Gary Dean Hess's Obituary
Gary Dean Hess Profile Photo
1949 Gary 2023

Gary Dean Hess

June 2, 1949 — April 2, 2023

Gary began his journey June 2, 1949 as the third son born to Charles Taylor (Chick) Hess and the only son and first child born to Alice Colleen Barnes in Pocatello, Idaho. He lived most of his life in Pocatello, graduating from Highland High School in 1967. He left this world on April 2, 2023.

While growing up, Gary spent much of his time hanging out with the neighborhood boys becoming lifelong friends with many of them. Any time he had the opportunity to go camping or fishing, he took it. He often found himself in the midst of mischief whether he himself created it or if one of his friends was the instigator.

A short while after graduation, Gary married Janet Cox and they became the parents of Bobbie, Jennifer, and Brandon. Their marriage ended in divorce. He later met, for the second time, Vicki Peck Rawlings, whom he had met while in high school. They hit it off and married in November 1977. With this marriage Gary had the privilege of becoming a stepfather to Duane and Shelly.

Although Gary and Vicki lived a life with difficulties from time to time, just as any family does, this union was one of the best things to happen to Gary. He loved all his children more than any one of them would know. He was always very proud of their accomplishments and he felt so proud and honored to be their dad, and later on Grandpa to their children. He loved going to support his grandkids in their many sports and activities.

Gary loved spending time with family, friends, and a cold Coors Light. Everywhere he went, he always had Vicki by his side. He continued to love to camp, fish, and for a season, bowl. He had a great love for old cars and could fix anything that ran on gasoline. If you needed a hand with anything that you could do with your hands, Gary would give it a go and be able to help. Gary was kind and gentle to everyone he met. He made friends easily everywhere he went. His smile and laugh could light up any room.

Gary worked many different jobs in his life. He worked as a mechanic at Ellsworth Dodge, he worked at U-Haul, sold cars at the Auto Center, Phil Meador, and Hirning. He landed a job at Ballard Medical where he made so many great friends in short time. His kids are always approached around town by random people who stop them and ask, “Hey, how is your dad doing? I sure miss seeing him.” When they look at this person with a somewhat puzzled look, the person will say, “oh, I worked with him at Ballard, I love that guy!” After that Gary went to work in the building maintenance department with the school district. He worked there until he decided it was best to retire to take care of Vicki. He was an amazing caretaker of his soulmate until her passing and beyond as he often would travel to the cemetery with a tote of cleaning supplies to always ensure that her headstone was kept in the best condition of any that was there.

He lived life simply, and nothing was better than going for a drive listening to music and Vicki’s chatter along the way. She was an anchor of support for Gary until her passing in 2015. A short while after Vicki’s passing, their dog, Katie, passed away as well. This led the way for Shelly to present Gary with a new best friend, Bob. Gary loved Bob to the fullest, and Bob will definitely miss him.

Gary was preceded in death by his lovely wife, Vicki, his father, Chick, his mother, Colleen, sister, Betty, and brother, Chuck Hess.

He leaves behind a sister, Janet Wilson (Jeff) of Buhl, ID, Daughters, Bobbie Swartzenberger, Jennifer Phillips (Greg) of Spokane, WA, and Shelly (Shaun) Jones of Inkom, ID. Sons, Brandon Hess (Tricia) Coeur d’Alene, ID, and Duane Rawlings (Jennie) of Chubbuck, ID, as well as several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews who loved him, and who he loved greatly.

Gary was a great man, husband, father, and grandfather. He will be dearly missed, forever.

Memorial services will be held on Monday, April 17, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Wilks Funeral Home, 211 W. Chubbuck Road, Chubbuck, Idaho.  His family will receive friends and others at a visitation to begin one half hour prior to the memorial services at the funeral home.  Inurnment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery. 

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the Tribute Wall tab above.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Dean Hess, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 17, 2023

1:30 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Memorial Service

Monday, April 17, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Graveside Service

Monday, April 17, 2023

3:30 - 4:30 pm (Mountain time)

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