Dr. Dolph Hess, PhD, Retired

Dr. Dolph Hess, PhD, Retired
November 5, 1926 – February 28, 2018

Dr. Dolph Hess, 91, of Brenham, passed away on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, in his home surrounded by his family. Dr. Hess believed in continuing education; at his request his body is donated to medical studies at Texas A&M Health Science Center in Bryan. Local arrangements are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers Bryan-College Station.

Dolph was born in Vienna, Austria, to Max and Paula Gersten Hess on November 5, 1926. Dolph and his parents left Vienna in 1938, emigrating to New York and Hell’s Kitchen. Dolph enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944, spending time in the European Theatre. He received his college education via the G.I. Bill, attending CCNY, UNC and finally the University of Minnesota, earning a Ph.D. in Social Work. Dolph and Joann married in 1967 and lived their married life in Texas. Dolph taught at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work from 1967 to 1990, when he retired, thereafter enjoying many travels and camping in the U.S. and Canada.

From Vienna, to New York City, to the RTP area of North Carolina, to Wyoming, to Minnesota and finally Texas (via many parts in between and after), Dolph was definitely a bit of a ramblin’ man. His amazing life was characterized by a wanderlust for beautiful places, with a particular fondness for high-altitude country and mountain vistas. Some of his other favorite things included a great dog (Bingo comes to mind), a good single-malt scotch, Willie Nelson’s entire discography, pizza and Tex-Mex, though not necessarily in that order.

Dolph is survived by his wife of 51 years, Joann Hess, and his children, Cynthia Werts of New Jersey, Cliff Hess of Waxahachie and Karl Hess of Dallas.

Dolph’s family would like to acknowledge the excellent care and service of Hospice Brazos Valley in the last days of his life.

Express condolences at CallawayJones.com


  1. Dolph was a force of nature, like a clear spring that flows freely. Somehow, it seemed like he would continue as long as any spring fed stream – forever. Yes, 91 is a fine age, but Dolph seemed decades younger.

    His enthusiasm, good humor, and zest for life never disappeared. We treasure the friendship we have had with Dolph, Joann, and Karl for 47 years. He will long be remembered.

  2. Dolph was a great friend. He was a good father and husband. He had a fun sense of humor. He was generous and caring. He will be missed.

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