Cover photo for Henry Ellis Hege, Jr.'s Obituary
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1938 Henry 2022

Henry Ellis Hege, Jr.

April 25, 1938 — December 3, 2022

Henry Ellis Hege, Jr., 84, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 3, 2022, at his home in Nixa, Missouri.

He was born on April 25, 1938, to Henry Ellis and Eunice Pauline (Tysinger) Hege in Thomasville, North Carolina. He was known as Ellis Jr. to his family and Hank to his friends and acquaintances.

After graduating from Thomasville High School in 1956, he joined the Air Force. He served from 1956 until retiring in 1979. He held many roles over the course of his service, with his favorites being a boom operator on KC-135s and a communications specialist flying aboard “Looking Glass.” He was SAC and TAC through and through. His military service took him around the world to Morocco, Okinawa, England, the Azores, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, and other places. He loved talking “Air Force” to other veterans. Upon retiring, he became a lightbulb salesman for almost 30 years. This profession allowed him to continue traveling while taking his family on trips across the United States.

Ellis enjoyed railroad modeling, especially the Southern Railway, as well as building model airplanes all his life. He loved traveling and being a North Carolina boy; he loved the ocean. He passed on his love of modeling, fishing, and the ocean to his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed playing with them and loved watching them grow. He always had a “sweet” for them.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Phillip, and a sister-in-law, Jean Hege.

He is survived by his wife, Susan (Stephenson) Hege, son Todd Hege and wife, Elise; grandsons Thomas and William; and daughter Melissa Romagno and partner Jeff Olenick, grandson Logan and granddaughter Skylar. He is survived by daughter Pam Hege and wife Katy; grandson Graham; daughter Kim Watkins; and granddaughter McKenna. He is also survived by his brothers, Mike and Randy, and his wife, Valerie, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

Private memorial services will be held in North Carolina at a later date.

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