But those who hope in the Lord,
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles:
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.
Albin Hess, of Caledonia, was born to eternal life at the age of 68 on Sept. 25th. Loving husband to Susanne Buchhorn for 19 years, loving father to Korina (Mike) Smith and Claudia Gulin. Brother to Hans-Peter (Gudrun), uncle to Kerstin and Kristina; great uncle to Carlotta, Benno and Theo, further survived by many other family and friends
Albin Hess, loving father of two daughters, husband, brother, uncle and good friend, co-worker and neighbor, great cook and woodworker, nature lover, wonderful travel companion, and passionate animal lover, always adventurous and courageous, someone, who always stood up for what he believed in, passed away suddenly on September 25th, 2019 after complications from an unexpected internal bleeding. He will be dearly missed by everyone, who got to know him.
Albin was best known for his cooking and baking skills, after all, he loved his German food and it was only good enough, when he cooked it himself. Whenever he tried a Schnitzel in a restaurant, he would have endless discussions on how to prepare it right and then ask for an email address, so he can send them the cooking instructions. He also loved canning and using locally grown food and would not give up, until he found the perfect ingredients. Nobody could escape his cooking, since he loved to feed everyone. Invited or not, there was always a spot at the dinner table for you. Friends remember his German rolladen, the knoedel, the red cabbage cooked with red wine and lots of apples, and of course the German cheesecake. He researched for a few years until he found the perfect way to make his own German white cheese, which then took 3 days until it was ready. But he was also known for his pizza, which was so flavorful, and only he knew, how to make a sauce like none-other. And of course the Flammkuchen, he made so many at the Kenosha Harbor Market. People were coming back for it and were patiently waiting in line for the wood oven to get hot enough. It was a very happy time.
Albin met his wife Susanne in 1995 (and got married in 2000), when she needed help. And just like he helped so many, he helped her and that was the beginning of a long and powerful ride, with many challenges along the way. One can say, there was never a dull moment in their house. In younger years, they enjoyed traveling the world. Their most favorite trip was to the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, where he learned snorkeling and was utterly surprised, he would not sink and drown, which he was so sure off, being such a big guy. Later in life, they enjoyed many shorter trips, he just loved to be up North, his favorite spots were Green Lake County, Eagle River, Hayward, Bayfield County and of course The Upper Peninsula in Michigan, where he loved The Porcupine Mountains and Copper Harbor. Albin and Susanne were looking forward to spending a few years up North, a dream that never became reality.
They also took many weekend trips together, most often to Green Lake county, where he loved spending time in the Amish area and at Bonnie and Joe’s Lake house. He deeply cherished their friendship. And there was another reason for all the weekend trips, he loved to combine those short trips with his passion to rescue animals for Badger Rescue Animal Transport Services. And he would drive them all, dogs, cats, and rats, birds and snakes. If he could help, none would get left behind to get euthanized at the Animal Control Shelter. He found great joy in providing so many “Rides for a new life”. He would always ask: “Is there not an animal, we can drive this weekend?” And off he went, with his wife and his dog Nala by his side and the rescue animals in the back. Being chronically ill, it got harder for him, so he had to let go of his passion at some point. But he kept thinking about it and actually hoped, he could get more involved again. His love for his previous dog Katie was also endless, she was always with him, he would never leave her behind for anything. When she got sick, he would find a goat farm and helped milking the goats, so he could feed her fresh goat milk to help her immune system. He would drive her anywhere in the effort to save her life. We all know, that Katie is with him now.
He had another passion, his woodworking, he would build his own bedroom set and other furniture. He became known for his skills, since he would not stop, until everyone he knew, had one of his birdhouses in the backyard. After all, he loved birds so very much. He would sit on the deck with a book about birds in his hands and figure out, which birds are around, so he can then build the correct birdhouse for them. The story does not end here. It grew even more, when he met Matt from the Caledonia Conservancy. They needed a bathouse, and only Matt can tell the whole story. Albin went right to work and thoroughly researched every aspect of it. And since he loved real wood, the bathouse was VERY solid and heavy. We are not sure, how Matt got it up to its final spot……The Conservancy had a fundraiser and Albin would have been so happy that more birdhouses found new owners and that he could help the Conservancy. He also finished a bench not long ago and it will be part of the Holiday Fundraiser in December. When Albin, Susanne and Nala took their last walk together on the Conservancy trails just 4 days before he got so sick, he made plans to build benches. Since it was so hard for him to walk because of a chronic illness, he told Susanne, that he will build a few benches for the Conservancy so even older and impaired people can enjoy walking the trails and rest, when needed.
And being a nature lover, he enjoyed being by the water, the trees, the flowers. He would always find a way to plant his favorite Irises in the backyard and watch them grow and bloom, which would make him happy like a child that sees an Iris for the first time.
Albin also loved his work as IT Manager. He just loved to figure things out and find solutions. And although he retired last year, he was always ready to help his friends at API Heattransfer, where he worked for so many years. Whether it was day or night or a weekend, if he could help, he would. And it was always that way, even when he worked for the same company in Germany. In fact, that is why Susanne planned the vacation to the Maldives, because there was no internet at that time, which means, he could not work and enjoy the vacation. Some co-workers became such good friends to Albin and Susanne, they stood by her side, when she needed it the most.
If you ever met Albin, chances were high, that you made a friend for life, a tall stubborn German, with legs that never fit under a table, who would always speak his mind and who would always be ready to help and brighten your day with his corky sense of humor. He loved the camaraderie and to be with his friends at work, in the neighborhood, and join the Sunday breakfast group, he rarely missed.
But he also never forgot Germany, his hometown Ramstein, where he had so many friends, his village Obermohr, where his brother lives. They are all in deep shock and very sad, after he just spent a few weeks with family and friends in Germany. And there was no sign … he left and told everyone “See you next year”. He was so happily eating all the good food, his sister in law Gudrun cooked – the only one he recognized being a much better cook than himself. And he spent many happy moments with friends and family at the Seewog, a beautiful lake in the area. He probably also had a few beers here and there and talked a lot in a dialect, that only locals would understand. It sure was a happy time.
We also cannot ignore, that Albin had to overcome hardships and challenges throughout his life, as well as dealing with major chronic pain for more than 15 years. The pain often made him almost cry. It was unbearable at times. And the life challenges made him learn and evolve. He was such a fighter and so courageous, that after all, he grew into being this gentle giant with a loud voice and often infectious laughter. He always had dreams and never stopped to invent something….. and above all, he had a big heart. Susanne was with him, when they met a homeless man. Albin of course had to feed him, and then drove him to a Motel, quietly paid for a room, so that man could sleep in a bed.
He would want all of you to do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for some unfortunate soul in his name. And he would also say to all of us in this Church today: “Remember, you will never get the same moment twice”.
When he could not talk anymore, he wrote a note to his former boss Tim, who is also a Pastor. He wrote: ”Tim, I will be with Jesus”. And then he gave his live to Jesus in front of Pastor Mark. We are so very thankful, that by the Grace of the Lord, Albin is saved, and is now with his mother, his grandparents and other loved ones and of course with his favorite father in law Heinrich. And there will be no fear and no pain anymore.
The Service will be held at the Harvest Community Church, 6612 S Howell Ave in Oak Creek on Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 3pm, visitation is at 2pm. Pastor Mark Widmer will facilitate the Service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the following:
Badger Rescue Animal Transport Services
PO Box 555
Germantown, WI 53022
PO Box 044714
Racine, WI 53404