William Dessel


William “Bill” Dessel, 89, of Ossian, died Friday, March 7, 2014, surrounded by family at his home.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ossian with Monsignor Cletus Hawes as celebrant.

Inurnment was in St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery in Ossian with full military rites provided by the Brockman-Hammersland Post 503 following the Mass of Christian Burial.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Ossian Ambulance, Ossian Fire Department, St. Francis de Sales Church, or St. Francis de Sales School.

Schmitz-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Ossian, assisted the family with services.

Online condolences may be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com

William “Bill” Henry Dessel, was born April 27, 1924, to Henry and Frances (Lesser) Dessel. He was baptized and confirmed in his faith at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church and graduated from St. Francis de Sales Catholic High School in 1942. 

Bill enlisted in the army in 1943 and completed basic training at Camp Barkeley in Texas. He underwent training as a medical laboratory technician at William Beaumont General Hospital. He served on the USS Patton medical hospital ship stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1946 as a staff sergeant and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal. Bill graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s of science in chemistry from Loras College in 1948.  

On June 21, 1952, William was united in marriage to Elsie K. Hemesath at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. They celebrated nearly 58 years of marriage and were blessed with nine children. 

Bill worked with his father and his uncle, Henry and Andrew Dessel at the Dessel Implement and Auto Company in Ossian. He then worked many successful years with the Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company. 

Bill was a very spiritual man. He served as Eucharistic minister and lector at church. He belonged to three prayer groups: God’s Beautiful Children, Tri State Ministries and Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. He and Elsie attended a six-week spiritual directors’ training at Pecos Monastery in Pecos, N.M.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 70 years. He was also a secretary for many years for the Ossian Fire Department, Ossian Senior Hospice Board, Tri State Ministries as well as DeSales Holy Name Society.

Bill and Elsie volunteered at the Ossian Senior Hospice and Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital Hospice. They helped sponsor Vietnamese families during the 70’s, and sponsored a Filipino child, Ivie Salmazan, now age 12, through the St. Vincent Foundation for Children and Aging in Manila, Philippines. 

Bill is survived by his children, Nancy Burke of Lake Zurich, Ill., Richard (Mary) Dessel of Lake Elmo, Minn., Thomas (Kymm) Dessel of Postville, Peter Dessel of Ossian, Lorna (Brian) Rothmeyer of Ossian, Marguerite (Phil) Costigan of Caledonia, Minn., Jeannie (Paul) Frana of Calmar, and Susan (Robert) Schmitt of Norwood, Minn., and one daughter-in-law, Elaine Dessel of Winston-Salem, N.C.; 18 grandchildren, Anna, Evan, Justin, Heather, Corey, Dylan (Cassie), James (Kim), Michelle, Bobbi (Troy), Charles, Samuel, James, Nathanial, Joseph, Andrew (Molly), Theresa, Daniel and Alex; eight great-grandchildren, Jordan, Morgan, Hope, Haylee, Autumn, Aiden, Brady and Maya; three sisters-in-law, Sr. Tekakwitha “Germaine” Hemesath of Waltham, Mass., Colette McVaney of Omaha, Neb., and Karen Hemesath of Castalia; two brothers-in-law, Dr. Carl (Jeanie) Hemesath of Bonita, Calif. and Greg Hemesath of Louisville, Ky. and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Elsie in 2010; son, Frank in 2003; parents, Henry and Frances (Lesser) Dessel; brother, Dr. Bert and wife, Mary Dessel; five sisters, Cleone and husband, Ernest Johnstone, Sr. Francis Joseph “Marcie” Dessel, Elsye and husband, John Beaumont-Haynes, Mary Frances and husband, Ed Clark and Ione Dessel (in infancy), grandson, Josh Guyer, father and mother-in-law, John and Iola (Scheidelmantel) Hemesath, two sisters-in-law, Bernice “Bonnie” and husband, Mark Tressel, Irma and Don Hanken, two brothers-in-law, Don McVaney and Jack Hemesath and three nephews, John Charles Dessel, Martin Tressel and Darren Hemesath.  

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