By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Former Montgomery mayor and city councilman Donald C. Hess died of kidney cancer Monday at his home in Montgomery. He was 54.
He was born in 1948 to Cornelia and Christian Hess in Waterloo, Iowa, where he grew up. He attended the University of Iowa and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1973.
Mr. Hess was a partner in the law firm of Taft, Stettinius and Hollister in Cincinnati.
He worked there for 26 years.
His practice focused on tax and financial planning for closely held businesses, mergers and acquisitions of corporations, and also employee compensation design and compliance. .
Mr. Hess lectured on estate planning and complex tax subjects with the Southern Ohio Tax Institute and the Ohio CLE Institute.
He was a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association and its Probate and Estate Planning committees.
From 1989-95, Mr. Hess was on the Montgomery city council and served the last two years as mayor.
Mr. Hess held memberships in the Montgomery Landmarks Commission, the Sycamore School Planning Commission, the Montgomery Citizens Advisory Committee and was a founding member of Montgomery Preservation Association.
Ivan Silverman, who was Montgomery mayor before Mr. Hess (1990-93), said Mr. Hess was very involved in the Montgomery community and was committed to retaining its residential and historical character.
"He had a strong impact on our community," Mr. Silverman said. "Everyone always looked to Don for basically the way legal things should be written.
"He knew the intricacies of the legal system and helped us through the difficult times."
Mr. Silverman said Mr. Hess was instrumental in enlarging and enhancing Montgomery's system of parks and was committed to retaining the historical quality of the downtown area.
He was a counselor with a Montgomery Boy Scout troop when his son was a member, and a trustee of the Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation.
A Reds fan, he had attended more than 600 games by the end of the 2002 season.
He was preceded in death by his father.
Survivors included his daughter, Allison, and son, Jeremy, both of Montgomery; fianc»e Debra Burke of Madeira; his mother, Cornelia of Waterloo, Iowa, and brothers Lynn of Seattle and Darrell of Bettendorf, Iowa.
Services have been held.
Memorials: Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242-5613.
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