Hess, veteran Pa. lawmaker, dies after surgery

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Longtime state Rep. Dick Hess, who served 14 terms in the House and chaired the Transportation Committee, died Friday. He was 74.

Hess died from complications that arose after leg surgery about two weeks ago, the House speaker’s office confirmed.

Speaker Sam Smith said in release that Hess, R-Bedford, was surrounded by family members when he died at UPMC Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Hess was closely involved in the recent debate about whether to raise billions for roads, bridges and mass transit.

Smith said he and Hess came to the House as freshmen representatives in 1987, and he described Hess as a good friend, an ally and a devoted family man.

“He’s been a tireless public servant and truly helped so many people,” said Smith, R-Jefferson.

Hess’ rural western Pennsylvania district included all of Fulton County and parts of Bedford and Huntingdon counties. He lived in Bedford.

He spent 15 years as Bedford County’s elected prothonotary and clerk of courts, and had been chief clerk to the county commissioners.

His survivors include Shirley, his wife of 49 years, a son and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were being made on Friday.

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