Milton Carl Bess was born Aug. 20, 1915 to Arnold Pent "Butch" Bess and Minta Lee Ferrell Bess.

Milton spent much of his childhood in Texas and Oklahoma oil fields where his father, Butch, was a pioneer in drilling for oil. He graduated from Bay City High School and continued working in the oil field. He married Mildred King of Blessing in 1936. He worked during the war in the Houston shipyards building Liberty ships, but returned to the oilfield at the end of the war. He worked at Kelsey Bass for Margum Drilling Co. as a driller, later moving to Corpus Christi to settle a growing family.

He began work with Zapata Offshore Drilling as a tool pusher and was designated to take the first offshore rig from Galveston to Coatzacoalos, Mexico as drilling superintendent and worked there for four years for Pemex. Upon returning from Mexico, he went into real estate, establishing Buccaneer Real Estate Co. but the oil field again beckoned and he went into business as Bay Conductor Hammers driving conductor pipe for drilling rigs.

In 1975 he began taking dance lesson and became an excellent dancer, winning many awards in a variety of ballroom dances. He and Mildred were past presidents of Revelaire and Carousel Dance Clubs.

He retired in 1979 and the following years were spent with Mildred, traveling by motor home with friends, time sharing, cruises, dance trips and visiting family.

He was a member of St. Lukes United Methodist Church for over 54 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Forrest C. Bess; a son, James Milton Bess; a daughter, Judith Ann Thompson; and grandson Stephen Bess.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mildred King Bess; a son Robert Carl Bess (Brenda); a granddaughter, Cynthia Westley; four great-grandchildren, Aimie Land Moore (Justin), Cody Land, Sierra Westley and Brianna Westley; a great-great-grandson, Gavin Moore.

Memorial Services were held on Wednesday, November 26, at 10 a.m. in the Sawyer-George Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Pamela Dykehouse officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Lukes or to Alzheimer's Research.

Sawyer-George Funeral Home