It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great-Grandfather Otto Hessler on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at the age of 94.
Otto was born December 25, 1923 in Luszyca, Poland to Heinrich and Sophie Hessler. He immigrated via oceanliner to Canada at the age of five with his parents, brother Emil and sister Nellie landing in Quebec on August 2, 1929. They then travelled by train across Canada to Northmark where his dad had taken a homestead. Otto went to school at Northmark via horseback until age 16 when he quit to help on the farm. During his teenage years Lena caught Otto’s eye while attending social dances in the community.
In 1942 at the age of 19 Otto joined the army where he trained in the artillery division over the next two and a half years with postings at various communities in Western Canada, the Yukon, and Alaska.
In 1945 he was shipped overseas to England to train as an infantryman. Once his training was complete, while he was on a 2-week leave, and before they were scheduled to be shipped to the German front, the war ended. Because he was able to speak German he stayed on with the army as an interpreter to help with the cleanup of cities in Germany that had been destroyed during the war.
In June of 1946 he returned home and was discharged from the army in August 1946 at which time he also filed on a homestead in the Josephine Creek area northwest of Spirit River. He and Lena courted for the next two years and on June 25, 1948 they were married in Grande Prairie after which they moved out to the farm. Farming became his passion for the next 50 years until he and Lena retired in 1996.
Even in retirement, Otto continued to go out each spring and fall to work with his family who still farm, including the original homestead. He loved to run the newer equipment and did so until aged 89. He was amazed at the change in farming practices ex: from farming with horses as a young man at Northmark to operating new equipment, that with GPS, essentially ran itself.
Otto is survived by his loving wife Lena of 70 years, children Gary (Marlaine), Richard (Cheryl), Christine Stalker (Robert), Kathryn, Marvin (Darlene), nine grandchildren, and 23 great grandchildren, and siblings Henry Hessler, Edward Hessler and Rose Peddy.
Otto was predeceased by his parents Heinrich and Sophie, his brother Emil, sister Nellie Sauder, and grandson Michael Eagar.
A funeral service for Otto was held on Monday September 10th, 2018 at 11:00am, with a time for viewing at 10:00am, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northmark, Alberta. Otto was laid to rest at the Northmark Cemetery following his service.
Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742 www.bearcreekfuneral.com.