Our Sympathies to Joel Hess & Family

Lisa' GardenMany of you know Joel as the organizer and facilitator of the woodworking, gardening, and cooking demonstrations and seminars at the Woodsmith Store in Des Moines, Iowa.  He is also an editor for Woodsmith and ShopNotes magazines and facilitates the blog you’re reading now. It is with great sadness that we pass on the news that Joel lost his wife Lisa on Wednesday, June 24, 2009.  She died from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Lisa Hess was an amazing individual filled with kindness and gentleness. She was a gifted gardener and her landscapes were always filled with immense beauty. She will indeed be greatly missed.

Lisa, while you’re tending to gardens much more beautiful than we could imagine, we promise to try and keep Joel out of mischief.

7 Responses to “Our Sympathies to Joel Hess & Family”

Raul Cabrera said,


I have seen you on woodworking online and feel your personality. A nice guy shows on you.
I feel your pain for your lose. My condolences go to your family and especially to you.


Fergus said,

Joel -I would just like to offer my condolences to you and the rest of your family & loved ones at this sad time.

Peter said,

Just became a watcherof the podcasts recently, and have greatly admired your work and the website. So very, very sorry to hear about the loss of your wife. Much love —


Gary Brown said,


Long time hobby woodworker and I’ve never been to this site before. I just saw you for the first time in a woodworking online video where you demonstrated how to build cabinet doors. Great job. You know your stuff. Then I jump to the main page of this site and see the news. I’m very sorry.


Henry Veltman said,

Our thought and prayers are with you during this trying time.

Henry Veltman and Family

Matt P said,

Joel, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife. You have been always been so upbeat at the seminars and very informative. Our prayers go out to you and your family.
Matt P

Tim Wilson said,

Joel, I just read the news. Sorry to hear about the loss of your wife. My condolences to you and your family.