Richard Anthony Hess, who everyone knew as 'Tony', was born on May 1, 1936 in Long Beach, California, and passed away in Torrance on Thursday, October 2, 2008. His beloved niece and nephew, Lisa Contratto Farnan and Anthony Contratto were at his side. The son of Clementine and Guilford Hess, and brother of Barbara Oxtaby Contratto, Tony grew up in Long Beach, attending St. Anthony's High School, and went on to receive his degrees in business from Long Beach State University. Upon graduation, Tony was drafted by the U.S. Army, serving as a Second Lieutenant. He landed his first job as a teacher at El Segundo High School teaching typing and business math. His favorite course was Celestial Navigation, which was not surprising, given his love of the sea. An expert sailor and boat lover, Tony sailed to many ports, including Tahiti on a year long adventure, on The Lisa and The Nefer Ra. He developed his tax and accounting practice at night after teaching school, and assisted thousands of South Bay professionals and residents with their tax needs for over 50 years in his Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach offices. Tony was a generous mentor to others, a champion for his family and animals, and a kind friend who always had a joke to share. His 3 great-nieces and 2 grandnephews, many clients and friends will dearly miss Tony. Funeral services will be held at St. James Catholic Church in Redondo Beach, CA on Thursday, October 9th at 10:30 am. Private interment services will be held at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach, CA. In lieu of flowers, and to honor Tony's love of dogs, donations in Tony's memory may be made to The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCALA) at (888) SPCALA1 asking for the Fund Development Department or you may go online at and donate directly.

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  1. We are deeply sadden to learn of “Tony’s” passing this morning. Denise and I didn’t lose a “Tax” preparer, we lost a good friend and we’ll miss our yearly joke during tax season. We are Shocked……… Dennis and Denise

  2. Iam truly saddened and shocked by the passing of “Tony,” He was a wonderful boss and great friend. He was an angel amongst us and now he is an angel in heaven. I will miss his jokes his laugh. He was a true gem.

  3. Mr. Hess was my favorite teacher (El Segundo High 1962) and the most influential person in my life. He helped me become the successful adult I am today with his gentle wisdom and kindness. I think of him everyday and will continue to do so.

  4. Anthony C., My condolences for your loss. Tony Hess has been a friend since the early seventies. He took good care of my finances for many years and we had a lot of great conversations. He has always been a caring individual. I will miss him. Sincerely, Lee Gustafson

  5. I am incredibly sad to hear about Tony’s passing. He has been my tax preparer for the last decade and he was amazingly helpful and so much fun to be around. I met him at the Hermosa Saloon as his “favorite bartender” but he was more than that to me as our friendship grew. I moved to Wisconsin yet insisted on going to lunch or dinner with Tony in California whenever I came to town and even flew in each year specifically to have my taxes done by him. We would go to Hennessey’s and have a bite and he would always tell me about how a little kid there one time believed him to be the Mayor of Redondo Beach. I miss him. Thank you to my friend Sharon who saw the notice in the Saloon and called me back in Wisconsin to let me know the sad news. I just wish she had learned about this BEFORE the service as I would have been there! I hope Buddy is in good hands, too. Those two were awesome and poor Buddy now has lost his best friend, as we all have. God Bless Tony’s soul and best wishes to his family.

  6. I am deeply saddened by the news of my old friend Tony’s passing. From the day we met some 40 years ago, he was consistently one of the most generous and caring people I have ever known. He treated everyone with the utmost respect, making quality time for all even on his busiest days –family, friends, clients, even strangers. Having accompanied him on several memorable sailing adventures, I came to know Tony as the captain of his fate and protector of everyone on board his ship. His boundless spirit is now conjoined with the same breezes that filled his sails and fueled his dreams throughout his life. Farewell, Skipper, may you always enjoy fair winds and following seas.

  7. Mr.Hess (still can’t bring myself to say “Tony”) was one of my favorite teachers (ESHS ’65). I’ll never forget the home movies he would share with us, of his many travels. I was so glad I has the chance to talk to him at our last reunion. I told him that I would never forget the picture he took in Germany of a gas station that has just blown up after being filled by a tanker and how, after so many years, I still won’t pull into a gas station if a tanker is there. He got a good laugh at that! He was such a caring, warm teacher and I’ll never forget him. God bless you Mr. Hess and thank you.

  8. I knew Tony as a student at El Segundo HS in the 1960’s, and later as the person who handlied the investment my parents made in Hawaii. He was always very patient and helpful. Please accept my sincere ondolences.

  9. My prayer and thoughts go out to everyone that knew Tony, Coach Hess, to many of his former students and football players. He was a great inspiration to many ESHS students and will be missed. It was wonderful to see him at our 40th reunion. Sincerely, Ted and Susan Tyler

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