John Joseph Hessman passed away Thursday, June 13, 2013, at Greenwood Meadows nursing home.
He was born Friday, Oct. 14. 1927, in Indianapolis. He was the son of Harry and Martha (HoHeisel) Hessman, both have previously passed.
He had five brothers who also previously passed, Leo, Albert, Frank, Henry and Charley. His stepfather, John Corcoran, and stepbrother, Priest Thomas Corcoran, also previously passed.
He is survived by one sister, Rose Mary Miller of Indianapolis. His loving wife of 56 years, Nina “Viola” Anderson, survives, living in Whiteland; and he is survived by their two children, Wanetta Pfahler of Greenwood and Ron Hessman of Grand Rapids, Mich.
He also is survived by many nephews and nieces, including Albert Hessman of Greenwood, Joan Owen and Patty Smith of New Whiteland, James Hessman and Mark Miller of Indianapolis, Charles Lee Hessman of Bloomington, Phyllis Sieman of Greenwood, Imogene Grosheim of Cincinnati, Bob Gossage of Anderson and Vicky Gossage of Florida.
One cousin, Grover Stambaugh previously passed. His mother- and father-in-law previously passed, Elsie (Koger) Anderson and General Jackson Anderson (he is listed on National Law Enforcement Memorial, and he was the great-great-great-great-grandson of Chief Chuqualatague Doublehead of Cherokee Sycamore Shoals Cumberland Plateau). Mr. Hessman had several sisters- and brothers-in-law that all previously passed, Hobert and Edison Anderson, Zelma Gregory, Susie Thomson, Christine Burr, Lucille Perkins, Gendola Gossage and Ethel Roberts.
Growing up on the southside of Indianapolis on Union Street, he attended Sacred Heart Catholic School, Public School 22 and Manual High School. He worked for Pennsylvania Railroad before serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces in the occupation of France and in Germany at the end of World War II, earning the medals of the Army of Occupation and World War II Victory Medal while in the 786th Unit AAF, 156th Airways and Air Communication Service Squadron.
After the service, he returned to Indianapolis as an Army Air Force Reservist, and he worked at Standard Brands, where he would meet his future wife. He relocated to New Whiteland in 1958. He owned and operated Hessman’s Sunoco on U.S. 31 and Main Street in Greenwood from 1965 to 1973. A licensed mechanic, he also worked at Kelly Chevrolet dealership in Greenwood. He managed gas stations for Wake Up Oil Co. for 30 years and was the training manager at the Greenwood station at Fry Road.
After retiring, he worked part time for Lockhart Cadillac dealership in Greenwood, shuttling vehicles, and at the Franklin Walmart, working in the lawn and garden department.
He was a member of New Whiteland First Baptist Church and serviced their buses in the late 1960s and early ’70s. He loved fishing and hunting.
A funeral service will be at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Forest Lawn Funeral Home, 1977 S. State Road 135, Greenwood. Viewing will be from 3 to 7 p.m Sunday at the funeral home. Entombment will be at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens in Greenwood.