William Joseph Hessler

August 30, 1928 — May 19, 2020

William Joseph Hessler

Bill (Ace) Hessler, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away May 18,2020. Bill was born August 30, 1932 to Joseph and Adele (Boeske) Hessler in Dearborn, MI. Bill graduated in 1950 from Redford High School in Detroit, MI, after playing three years as the All Area High School football lineman and kicker. Upon graduation, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as a Second Lieutenant and pilot during the Korean War. Bill's military service started what would become a lifelong passion for aviation and the U.S. military. After leaving the military in 1954, Bill enrolled in Michigan State University, and became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. At MSU, Bill met the love of his life, Dixie Keppel. Switching his major to agriculture to impress Dixie (the first woman to graduate MSU with a dairy science degree), Bill obtained his B.S. degree in 1957. Bill and Dixie married in 1956, and embarked on a 54-year journey of adventure, ending only with Dixie's passing in 2009. Bill's thirst for knowledge, and natural inquisitiveness led him to value education and continual learning. Together, Bill and Dixie traveled the world, exploring countries and cultures, and meeting people who fast became friends. Bill was able to strike up a conversation with anyone, and truly enjoyed listening to the life stories of others. Bill and Dixie were avid sports enthusiasts, enjoyed playing golf, and attended several Master's Tournaments. They also hosted neighborhood Indy 500 family parties for many years. Bill learned auto and home repair the old school way - by doing. Always lending a helping hand to neighbors and friends, he tackled plumbing and diagnosed car problems for those in a bind. After retiring from The Upjohn Company, Bill pursued volunteering, and served for many years at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo Aerospece and Science Museum, the Area Middle/HighSchool Science Olympiad, and the Fort Custer National Cemetary Honor Guard. Bill's extensive collection of model airplanes, that he meticulously crafted over his lifetime, have been donated to the Air Zoo. Bill felt privileged to be flown to several U.S. military events honoring Veterans in Washington D.C.and Virginia. After Dixie's passing, Bill walked the Fort Custer cemetary for hours, where Dixie is interred. Occasionally, he pitched a tent in a nearby campground. This led Bill to join the Tear Jerkers Teardrop Camping Club, and a new adventure of camping, hiking, and meeting new friends began. One of Bill's favorite times was camping in the rain on a windy night, listening to Percy Faith's "Summer Place," reminiscing about a life well1 lived with Dixie. Bill is survived by his three children: Keely Hessler of Denver, CO, Brad (Denise) Hessler of Paw Paw, MI and Janice Hessler of Portage MI. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Marisa Fixel, Sam Oberst, Dr. Alexander Hessler, Sgt. Sebastian Craig, Wolfgang Craig, Kenton Stufflebeam, Kayln Stufflebeam, and Marlee Stufflebeam. Bill is also survived by two great-granddaughters: Eve Oberst and Athena Craig. He will be missed by many. At Bill's request, no services will be held. He is interred at Fort Custer Cemetary, with Dixie. While visiting William's webpage at www.avinkcremation.com please sign the guestbook by lighting a candle, and/or sharing a memory with the family. The family is being assisted by the Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society, 129 S. Grand Schoolcraft, MI 49087 (269-679-5622).
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