Robert Nicholas Hessling, 89, of Honesdale, died on Saturday at Regional Hospital of Scranton. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, the former Shirley M. Daniels, on April 25, 2007. The couple married May 7, 1949.
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Born on July 16, 1924, in Honesdale, son of the late Joseph W. and Bertha A. Weniger Hessling, he attended Honesdale Catholic High School and graduated from Honesdale High School, class of 1942, where he was the leading scorer on the basketball team his senior year. Bob was an Army veteran of World War II, attending service school at Michigan State College. He served with the 459th Engineer Depot and participated in central Europe and Rhineland Campaign, including Remagen Bridge, in 1945.
Later, he attended the Renouard School of Embalming in New York City. In 1952, he became licensed and was the third-generation funeral director at the family business dating back to 1895 in Honesdale. Bob partnered with his brother, Joseph "Jo-Jo," in not only Hessling Funeral Home, but also an ambulance service and monument works.
An active member of the community, Bob was a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish, attending St. Mary Magdalen Church in Honesdale, Alert Hook and Ladder Fire Company 2, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, VFW, Honesdale Golf Club, Wayne County Historical Society, a second-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, a founding member of the Honesdale Booster Club and an inductee of the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. He was a founding member and coach of Honesdale Biddy Basketball Association and coached in the Honesdale Little League. Bob played and coached the Honesdale Red Wing amateur basketball team. He proudly played for and sponsored Hessling's softball team, where he treasured the friends made, rivalries and many victories, particularly the 99-game winning streak.
Bob was a loyal New York Giants and Yankees fan, and horse racing was another pastime.
Surviving are his sons, Michael "Mox," Richard and wife, Mary; Thomas, Robert and wife, Marie, all of Honesdale; and William and wife, Theresa, Hawley; sisters, Ann Schroeder and Jean Gilhool and husband, Harold, all of Honesdale; grandchildren, Heather Birdsall, Lacey Yzeik and Richelle, Tom, Jaclyn, Olivia, Samantha, Julia, Nick, Natasha and Rachel Hessling; great-grandchildren, Lindsey, Brienna, Gavin, Thomas, Aliyah, Ledger and Ayden; nieces and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by his brother, Joseph; and sister, Elizabeth Vonson.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Magdalen Church, Honesdale. Interment with military honors will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery.
Friends may visit Hessling Funeral Home Inc., 428 Main St., Honesdale, on Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the donor's favorite charity.
Condolences: www.hes slingfuneralhome.com.
Hessling Funeral Home
428 Main Street Honesdale, PA 18431
Published in Scranton Times on Mar. 2, 2014