Robert Nicholas Hessling, 89, of Honesdale, died on Saturday, March 1, 2014 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.|
Born on July 16, 1924 in Honesdale, he was the 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 a US 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, a 2nd degree member of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Alert Hook and Ladder Fire Co. #2, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Honesdale Golf Club, Wayne County Historical Society, a founding member of the Honesdale Booster Club, an inductee of the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
He was a founding member and coach of the Honesdale Biddy Basketball Association and also coached in the Honesdale Little League Baseball.
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 win 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, and Robert "Bubba" and wife Marie all of Honesdale and William and wife Theresa of Hawley; sisters Ann Schroeder and Jean Gilhool and husband Harold all of Honesdale; grandchildren Heather Birdsall, Lacey Yzeik, 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 preceded in death by his brother Joseph and sister Elizabeth Vonson and her husband Michael; a brother-in-law Charles Schroeder.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Honesdale at 10 a.m.
Interment with military honors will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Friends may visit Hessling Funeral Home, Inc., 428 Main St. Honesdale on Tuesday from 3 to 7. Condolences: www.hesslingfuneralhome.com.
Memorial contributions can be made to the donors favorite charity.
Published in Wayne Independent on Mar. 4, 2014