SMITH CENTER – Carolyn Kay (Culbertson) Hess, age 65, passed away on Monday September 17, 2012 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, KS.  Carolyn was born the daughter of Elmer and Lois (Jetter) Culbertson on July 7, 1947, in Audobon, Iowa.

Carolyn attended country school in Sac County, Iowa, and graduated from Sac City High School, in Sac City, Iowa in May 1965.  Carolyn attended nursing school at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.  She graduated with her Nursing degree in May of 1968.

Carolyn met Gaylen Hess in Laurens, Iowa where their father’s worked together at Meffords.  Carolyn and Gaylen were married in Laurens, Iowa on August 31, 1968.  They moved to a farm in rural Havelock.   Carolyn was employed as a registered nurse, director of nursing and administrator at the Pocahontas Community Hospital from 1968-1995.  Carolyn earned her master’s degree from University of Minnesota in Hospital Administration.   Carolyn enjoyed working in small hospitals and communities.  If she saw an opportunity to help a hospital grow, she would take on that challenge.  Carolyn worked as a hospital administrator in Onawa and Hamburg, Iowa; and, finally Smith Center, Kansas.

Carolyn and Gaylen had two children: Stephanie and Christopher.  They have three grandchildren: MacKenzie Struve (12), Parker Struve (8), and Paige Hess (7).

Carolyn enjoyed working with the doctors, nurses, and staff at each hospital.  She helped start the Hospice in Pocahontas, Iowa.

Carolyn enjoyed being with her family, Kansas State football, gardening, and reading.

Carolyn is survived by her husband, Gaylen Hess (Smith Center); daughter, Stephanie Hess (Derby); son, Christopher Hess (Osaka, Japan); daughter-in-law, Kristin Hess; her three grandchildren; her mother Lois (Jetter) Culbertson; her sister Cathy (Jerry) Williams; brothers: Lonnie (Jeannie) Culbertson, Gene (Marybeth) Culbertson and Kenneth Jetter; sister-in-law Sandra Hess; as well as several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her father Elmer Culbertson; brother, Jack Culbertson; mother-in-law, Dora Hess; father-in-law, Gordon Hess; and sister-in-law Lonna Hess.

Celebration of Life services will be held at 4:00PM Saturday September 22, 2012 at the United Methodist Church in Smith Center, KS with Pastor Laura Fricker officiating.

There will be a visitation from 3PM until 8PM on Friday evening.

Carolyn and her family were supporters of the Smith County Hospital.  The family requests that memorials be sent in lieu of flowers.  The memorials can be made to the Smith County Hospital Employees Fundraiser or Hospice Services of Smith County and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

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