Claxton-Hepburn dedicating newly renovated auditorium as memorial to George and Rita Hess
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 6:11 am

OGDENSBURG -- Claxton-Hepburn will be dedicating its newly renovated auditorium as a memorial for George and Rita Hess on Friday, March 22 at 1 p.m.

The event is open to the community.

The auditorium, in a building at the hospital which once housed the A. Barton Hepburn School of Nursing, today serves as a space where physicians, hospital staff, the Auxiliary, and community members gather together to learn and conduct business.

The newly renovated space features the original wood floors now refinished, stained oak wainscoting and cabinetry, new kitchen appliances for preparing a serving refreshments, and advanced audiovisual technology for presentations and telemedicine. Historic pictures of the hospital are on display in the room.

The Auditorium is an especially fitting place to remember George and Rita Hess. Rita was a 1953 graduate of the nursing school and later Director of Education at the hospital.

She served as a volunteer and member of the Auxiliary for 16 years and was active outside the hospital in the community, especially at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

George Hess was an army veteran of the Korean War, and worked at the Northern New York Publishing Company for 47 years, retiring as the Senior Press Supervisor in 1995.

George and Rita were the devoted parents of 7 children, all of whom were born at Claxton-Hepburn: Christopher Hess, Susan Hess Ashley, Barbara Hess Boyer, Ellen Hess Katomski, Carol Hess Winkowski, Andrew Hess, and Joan Hess.

“We are honored yet humbled to be a part of the auditorium project,” says Barbara Boyer, one of the daughters of George and Rita Hess. “A tribute like this is rare, and our parents are so very deserving of this memorial. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.’ Our parents did so much for so many people, and we would like to thank everyone involved in making this a success.”