Gerald Frederick Hesser, age 83, of Dassel, died Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, at Augustana Lakeside Health Care Center in Dassel.
A memorial service will take place Saturday, Feb. 9 at 10:30 a.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel, with the Rev. Laurie O’Shea officiating. Interment will be at a later date at Steelesville Cemetery, rural Dassel.
There will be a time to gather with the family at the church one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home of Dassel.
Gerald was born July 30, 1935, in Humboldt, IA, the son of Horace and Etta (Dolder) Hesser. As an infant, the family moved to a farm near Cosmos.
Gerald was baptized in Humboldt, IA; and confirmed in Cosmos. He graduated from high school in 1953, and then attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, graduating in 1958.
Gerald was united in marriage to Dana Knobel Aug. 14, 1960, at the First Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake. The couple first made their home in the Chicago, IL area, where Jerry was taking some classes to obtain his master’s degree. They then moved to Sheboygan, WI, where they resided until 1967, when they moved to Davenport, IA.
In 1972, Jerry and Dana moved to Prior Lake, residing there until 1993, when they moved to a cabin on the shores of Collinwood Lake near Cokato. For the last few years, they have resided in Dassel.
Jerry was employed working with youth for the YMCA. He changed his profession and became the director of development at Gustavus Adolphus College, and later was director of development for Lutheran Social Services, until his retirement in 1995.
Jerry enjoyed spending time with his family for holidays and special events. His grandchildren and great-grandchild held a special place in his heart.
He could often be found on Collinwood Lake in his boat fishing or just cruising around the lake with Dana. He was fond of travel, visiting numerous places around the country and having taken a cruise to Alaska.
Jerry and Dana would spend winters in Mexico, and later in Lake Havasu, AZ.
Jerry was a published author, having written “Las Cucarachas’ Tails: a storyteller’s travel escapades . . . along the ways of Mexico.”
He is survived by his wife, Dana Hesser of Dassel; three sons, Gregory (Edith) Hesser of Burnsville, Mark (Vanessa) Hesser of St. Michael, and Brian (Kim) Hesser of Hutchinson; eight grandchildren: Christian Hesser, Stephanie Hesser, Charles Veillon, Kennith Veillon, Joshua Hesser, Kora Hesser, Mitchel Hesser and Collin Hesser; and one great-grandchild, Alexandrea Veillon.
Jerry was preceded in death by his son, Steven Hesser; his parents; and a brother, Harold Hesser.