William Hesse

William “Bill” Richard Hesse was born on Sept. 23, 1934, to William W. and Ethel B. (Carlson) Hesse, in Charter Oak. Bill graduated from Anthon High School with the class of 1953. In the same year, Bill entered the United States Naval Reserve and in 1955 entered the United States Army where he served overseas in Europe as part of the ASA.

Bill was honorably discharged from the military in January 1958 and returned home to Iowa. In March 1958, Bill met the love of his life, Ruth Marie Heldt of Battle Creek. The couple were married on Oct. 19, 1958 and shared over 50 wonderful years together. Bill and Ruth were blessed with four children: David, Dennis, Daniel and Julie.

Bill enlisted into the Iowa Air National Guard where his unit was activated and deployed to Korea. Bill spent 13 months overseas before returning home to his family.

Bill enjoyed gardening but his true passion was playing music. He stated, “It was the best part of my life.” Bill loved every dance he played, “most of the time it was off the wall, but that is what made the job so much fun.” He enjoyed playing with other musicians such as his brother Al, Alan Hesse, Larry Kisor, Dick Bloyer, Peter Peterson, Bob Whitney, John Withart, Harry Bradstreet and Jim and Janell Conley. 

Left to cherish his memory are his four children: David Hesse of Battle Creek; Dennis (Kelly) Hesse of Republic, Mo.; Daniel Hesse of Storm Lake; and Julie Hesse Kennebeck Menke (Jim Menke) of Smithton, Mo.; grandchildren: Cheyne (Kacie) Hesse, Megan Hesse, Seth Hesse, Justin (Lacey) Hesse, Aaron (Kristin) Patrick, Colby Kennebeck (fiancé Scott), Colissa (Christopher) Nole, Bradley Hesse, Danielle (John) Suzuki and Benjamin Hesse; great-grandchildren: Ryleah, Hadleah, Jillian, Quinn, Gracyn and Emery; and soon to arrive first great-grandson Kannon David Nole; brothers, Dwayne (Virginia) Hesse and Jerry (Dixie) Hesse; sister Donna Kleihauer; extended family and friends.

Bill was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ruth Marie Hesse on March 29, 2010; parents William and Ethel Hesse; brother Alvie (Alta) Hesse; sister Arlene (Verlin Schumann and William Gregg Snyder) Schumann; and brother-in-law Kenny Kleihauer.