James Edward Hess, Established the Heritage Map Museum, had a passion for genealogy

By on May 4, 2016

James Edward Hess was born June 17, 1945 to Roy and Anne Hess where he grew up on a farm in Manheim Township.

He graduated with a master’s in social work in 1976 from Temple University and could often be found offering voluntary counsel to anyone in the community who needed it. James was passionate about ancestral history and was instrumental in restoring a cemetery in the town of Baumgardner where his earliest family roots within the United States were laid to rest. His love of history led him to the antique map and book world where he established the Heritage Map Museum.

In 2007, James headed west to be closer to his kids in Oregon where he found renewed value in his eldest years. This era was symbolic of his constant thirst to find meaning in the simplest of encounters and exchanges.

James passed away on April 27, 2016. In his final days, he was surrounded by family and loved ones.

He is survived by his two children, Devin and Chandra Hess; and his sister, Peggy Garber.

There will be a memorial service to celebrate James’s life, which will be held in his hometown of Lititz at a future date to be determined.

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  1. Jill Ivey Gagliano

    May 5, 2016 at 10:43 am

    James was a wonderful and kind man. He hired me to help out at the Map Museum auctions. It was so fascinating! I remember one time he had me take photos of Hopi Kachina dolls. I didn’t have the camera set up correctly so none of the pictures developed. He didn’t make a fuss. He just redid them. It was such a kind gesture for what was a huge mistake on my part!
    His love of what he was doing shined bright! He instilled in me an appreciation of antique maps. I think of him whenever I see one, and I always wonder “what is this worth”!
    My heart goes out to his family.

  2. Lucy Ford Findlay

    November 20, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I think this is the Jim Hess I knew back in the late sixties and through the 1970’s. Did he go to Wake Forest for a brief time? And later live in Palm Beach for a short time?
    My husband was George Findlay. They met at Wake. George was from Palm Beach and Jim visited him there.
    We last heard from him many years ago when he had an antique map and book business in Lititz.
    George passed away one month before James, on March 18, 2016, in Dover, Delaware.

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