CANASTOTA- Benjamin F. Hesler, 91, formerly of 330 N. Peterboro Street, Canastota, died Monday, February 10, 2014, at Crouse Community Center, Morrisville, with his loving family by his side.
He was born on November 22, 1922, in Clayton, NY to Mary Sullivan Hesler, a teacher, and Benjamin H. Hesler, Chief Engineer of Pittsburg Steamship Co.
Following graduation from St. Marys School in Clayton in 1940, he entered Maritime Service training with the U.S. Coast Guard and served in the U.S. Merchant Marines from Aug. 1944 to Aug. 1945. Following WWII, Ben was employed with Alcoa Steamship Co. on ocean-going vessels, and then as an engineer with Pittsburg Steamship Co., sailing the Great Lakes on iron-ore freighters.
In 1953, Ben married Jane Lucille Bertrand of Clayton, NY, daughter of Ella and Harold Bertrand, proprietors of the Herald and Hubbard Houses in Clayton NY. He attended Tri-State College in Angola, IN, as a fulltime mechanical engineering student in 1954 while the first two of their seven children were born. In 1956, Ben began his 29 years of employment with Carrier Corp. in Syracuse working primarily in the development test lab while the family lived in North Syracuse. Seeking more rural surroundings and a larger home, Ben and Jane moved their family to Canastota, NY, in 1967. Their Craftsman era home was conveniently located across from St. Agathas Catholic Church and near Canastota Central Schools. Ben wasted no time settling into the task of rewiring, replumbing, and refinishing the many wooden doors, floors and trim work. Bens handiwork and love of the outdoors provided his children with wonderful memories of backyard ice rinks and pools, camping and boating in the 1000 Islands Region, ice skating and ice sailing on Oneida Lake, maple syruping, and countless basement projects. Ben was an avid fisherman and enjoyed his vegetable garden. Ben always enjoyed having a hand in the holiday meals, as did his father.
Ben was a communicant of St. Agathas Catholic Church in Canastota, often called upon to share his engineering talents for special projects. In later years he attended St. Marys Parishes in Minoa and Hamilton.
Bens lifelong devotion to his wife, Jane, was never more evident than in his caregiving in her later years. Ben took great pride in his 14 grandchildren, spanning in age from 9 to 27 yrs old; family was his joy, life, and love.
Ben is survived by: four daughters, Elizabeth and Dr. James Mostrom of Fayettville, Ellen and Dr. Raymond Meeks of Hamilton, Linda and Timothy Eddy of Salt Point, NY, and Diane and John DiGiovanni of Fayetteville; two sons, Stephen and Katherine Hesler, and Thomas Hesler, all of Charlotte NC; daughter in-law, June Hesler of New Rochelle; fourteen grandchildren, Mary Hesler, Sarah Hesler, Rachel Hesler, Gregory Hesler, Robert Mostrom, Brendon Meeks, Janet Mostrom, Daniel Meeks, Ella DiGiovanni, Brian Meeks, Anthony DiGiovanni, Clare DiGiovanni, Grace DiGiovanni, and Ava Eddy. Ben is predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Jane Lucille Hesler; his parents, Benjamin and Mary Sullivan Hesler; a son, Charles Benjamin Hesler of New Rochelle NY; a sister, Mary LaRue of Clayton NY; and two brothers, William Hesler of Media PA, and Joseph Hesler of Liverpool NY.
Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, February 15, 2014, at St. Agathas Church, Canastota, where a funeral mass will be held. The Stephen P. Wirkes, Pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in St. Agathas Cemetery, Canastota. Calling hours will be held on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the J. Homer Ball Funeral Home, Inc., 201 James Street, Canastota. In his memory, contributions can be made to St. Agathas Church, 329 N. Peterboro Street, Canastota, NY 13032, or to Elderhaven Adult Day Care, 309 S. Peterboro Street, Canastota, NY 13032, with envelopes available at the funeral home.
J. HOMER BALL FUNERAL HOME, INC., Canastota. A Trust100 Family Owned Funeral Home.