August 6, 1933 – February 25, 2019
Avis Ann Potthoff Hess passed from this life on Monday, February 25, 2019 at the Highland Village Assisted Living Center in Elko, NV. A true Nevadan, Avis was born in Las Vegas to Taylor and Isabelle (Sewell) Potthoff, while her father was working on the Hoover Dam Project. As a young girl, her family relocated to Northern Nevada where her parents worked on several local ranches and mines, including the River Ranch, IL Ranch and the YP Ranch. She developed a love for horses as a young girl, which stayed with her the rest of her life. When betting on the ponies later in life, she couldn’t pass up showing favoritism to the ‘Grays’.
Avis graduated from Elko High School in June, 1951. She married Melvin Hess that same month. During those early years, they lived in various places around the Northwest. She had 5 children, one born in Elko, two born in Oregon, and two born in Washington. In 1961 they moved back to Elko. Avis and Melvin later divorced. In March of 1964 Avis married Joel (Buster) Hess and had one more son, Joel who was born in Elko.
Avis was one of the original members of the Elko Music Boosters Club for the Elko High School Band of Indians. She chaperoned several trips for the Band of Indians including a trip to San Francisco. Avis remained in Elko, raising her family and working to keep them out of mischief, which at times could be quite a chore. Avis spent several years working for various businesses, from the Stockmens Hotel to the Elko Credit Bureau. In the late 70’s, Avis and Buster relocated to Jerome, Idaho. They stayed in that area for the next 25 years, with Buster working at Tupperware and Avis working as a teacher assistant with special needs children in the Jerome School System. They had a few acres dubbed the Hess Mini Farm. They enjoyed raising chickens, cows and calves in their spare time. After retiring in 2000, Avis and Buster moved back to Elko to enjoy being closer to family members.
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Avis is survived by her children, Linda (Ken) of Sparks, Dave (Ellen) of Elko, Dick of Elko, Mike (Debbie) of Elko, Joel (Julie) of Boise, ID, daughter-in-law, Sandy Hess of Alamogordo, NM and her special “neighborhood son” Ricky Fazzary of Elko. In addition to her children she is survived by her sister Phyllis, 15 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and multiple nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Joel (Buster), son Dan, daughters-in-law Marilyn Hess and Kay Hess, and granddaughter Alesha Lauver.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. March 4, 2019 at the Burns Funeral Home Chapel.