Robert E. "Bob" Gessner, 82, of St. Marys, W.Va., passed away May 1, 2013, at the Marietta Memorial Hospital in Marietta, Ohio, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born Aug. 1, 1930, in Boston, Mass., a son of the late Richard and Elizabeth Smith Gessner. He was a graduate of Tufts University in Medford, Mass., with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. During his college years he worked for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass.. He served with the National Guard during the Korean Conflict. He retired from Union Carbide as a Senior Research Scientist after 39 years. While working for Union Carbide he was the liaison between the Sistersville plant and a new plant in Termoli, Italy where he trained the Italian engineers. He was a member of the St. John's Catholic Church, where he served on the finance committee and as a lecturer and Eucharistic Minister. He had served, for a time, as a St. Marys Municipal Judge. In his retirement he enjoyed watching the Boston Red Sox, investing, reading, traveling, and spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Elaine Paul Gessner; six children, Karen (Steve) Parlett of Williamstown, W.Va., Aileen Owens of Pittsburgh, Pa., Bob (Linda) Gessner of St. Marys, W.Va., David Gessner of Charlotte, N.C., Kathleen (Charles) Drazba of St. Marys, and Jim (Sandi) Gessner of Wilmington, N.C.; 12 grandchildren, Mitch and Terri Parlett, Andrew and Christa Owens, Elijah Bennett, Isabell, Jack and Bobby Gessner, Charlie, Maggie and Tony Drazba, and Katy Gessner; two brothers, Russell Gessner of South Yarmouth, Mass., and Ray Gessner of New Hampshire; two sisters, Trudy Medicke of El Paso, Texas, and Lynn Osborne of Las Vegas, Nev.; a sister-in-Law, Dottie Gessner of Purcellville, Va., and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Richard and Ronald Gessner.
Funeral Mass will be held Monday, May 6, 11 a.m. at the St. John's Catholic Church with Father Ron Prechtl officiating. Interment will be in the St. Marys IOOF Cemetery. Friends may call from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Sunday at the Ingram Funeral Home, St. Marys, where a Christian Vigil Service will be held at 7:30.
The family request that memorial contributions be made to either the American Lung Association, P.O. Box 3980, Charleston, WV 25339-3980, or the American Heart Association, 4510 Pennsylvania Ave., Charleston, WV 25302. An online guest register is available at www.ingramfh.com.