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Werner Tessnau

1943 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Werner Tessnau Obituary
Werner Tessnau, 75

OAKHAM - Werner Tessnau passed away peacefully in St. Vincent Hospital on June 12, 2018 with his loving wife and soul mate of 48 years, Lucy, at his side. Werner was born on February 5, 1943 in Scharfenwiese, East Prussia, Germany to Heinrich and Xenia Tessnau. Soon after his birth his father was deployed to join the troops in Norway. The town where the family lived was overrun by the Russians and at the end of the war all of East Prussia was given to Poland. His mother, grandparents, and he were forced to leave their home along with 11 million Germans also living in E. Prussia. They became part of the Exodus of 11 Million Germans, under the threat of death if they did not leave. His family barely managed to escape to W. Germany by passing through many refugee camps in the war torn area and a ravaged Germany. On their arrival in W. Germany they were assigned to live on the third floor of an old farmhouse above the cow barn with no running water. After 10 years of applying for a permit to emigrate to the U.S., they finally arrived in N.Y.C. on October 12, 1955. They arrived in Worcester by train where the World Council of Churches and friends had an apartment for them and work for his mother. At age 12 Werner worked at the Dodge Park Nursing Home delivering meals to the elderly residents. From there, as a teen, he worked at the Union Public Meat Market and Ralph's Wonder Market.

Werner joined all other immigrant children who could not speak English at the Lamartine St. School. From there he attended Providence St. Jr. High and graduated from South High School in 1963. At the age of 18 years he joined with his mother to be sworn in as citizens of the United States. He was proud of his German heritage and loved his new country. He was often heard to say "German by birth, American by choice". After graduating from Worcester Industrial Technical Institute, where he honed his drafting skills, in 1965 he was hired by Riley Stoker Corp. where he worked for 20 years. In 1988 he purchased a Sporting Goods Store, The Outdoorsman, in West Boylston. A gentle man, friendly and warm, he made many friends with his good humor and by regaling his customers with stories of his past and history in general.

He retired in 2003 and began to travel with his wife. They visited much of the U.S., Europe and Tanzania, Africa. In 2009 he drove through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to trace his family roots. In 1984 he searched successfully through Germany to find his estranged father whom he had not seen or heard from in 30 years.

After marrying his wife, Lucy, they settled in Oakham where Werner personally built their home. He served the town as a member of the first Conservation Commission and later worked as an Associate Member of the Council on Aging, poll worker and was elected as a Constable. He supported Lucy in all her work for the Town and was a regular at the Senior Center. He was an avid outdoorsman enjoying hiking, fishing and hunting. He served many years as one of the Mass. Hunter Safety Instructors. He was a member of G.O.A.L., the Worcester Surfcasting Club, the Worcester Pistol and Rifle Club, the South Barre Rod and Gun Club, the Retired Men's Club of Greendale, the NRA and he was a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment.

Werner was also a man of many talents. He enjoyed working with wood of all types and made some nice carvings and gun stocks. He was very good at cartooning and drawing, creating innovative ways of attacking mechanical problems, was an excellent gunsmith and has even been known to have written a poem or two. He was easygoing, friendly and fun to be with - a good man, someone you wanted to know. He will be sadly missed by those who knew him.

Werner will be cremated. There will be no calling hours. Burial will be private and at the discretion of the family. Miles Funeral Home of Holden is assisting the family with arrangements. Please omit flowers. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the , 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114, the Oakham Police Association, 178 Barre Rd., Oakham or the Oakham Fire Association, 178A Barre Rd., Oakham, MA 01608. To share a memory or offer a condolence visit

Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from June 14 to June 17, 2018
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