Joseph E. Gessinger, Jr., 78 / Jan. 26, 1932 — Nov. 5, 2010

Published 4:10 pm Sunday, November 7, 2010

Joseph E. Gessinger, Jr., 78, of Royal Drive in Niles died peacefully at 11:10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 at his home following an extended illness.

Gessinger obitHe was born on Jan. 26, 1932 in Angola, Ind. to Joseph Edward and Evelyn (Rininger) Gessinger, Sr. He lived in the Niles area most of his life. He was a 1950 graduate of Niles High School where he played basketball and won a state championship in cross-country. He was employed for 32 years at the National Standard Company, retiring in 1987.

He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict, serving in the United States Marine Corps as a Sergeant. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and of the B.P.O. of Niles Elks #1322.

He enjoyed fishing, playing golf and cards and traveling throughout the United States and Europe. He won Niles City Championships in table tennis and golf (A-flight). He also spent 20 winters as a snowbird in Florida.

His greatest interest was his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

On Oct. 16, 1954, at the First Presbyterian Church in Niles, he married the former Beverly Jean Conrad, who survives.

Also surviving are their children, Cheri (Andy) Legus and Chris (Gwen) Gessinger, both of Niles; grandchildren Christopher (Beth) Gessinger, Michael (Brande) Gessinger, Nicholas (Kara) Gessinger, Andrea Legus Arias and Chad Legus; great-grandchildren Avarie Grace and Carson Gessinger and Devyn and Joshua Arias; sister Nancy Fischer of Niles; brother-in-law Dick Conrad of South Bend and sister-in-law Connie (Dave) Knapp of Niles.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Gessinger, Sr. and Evelyn Riley and a son, Michael Gessinger who died on April 11, 1971.

Services for Joseph E. Gessinger, Jr. will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010 at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles with the Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence of First Presbyterian Church officiating and will conclude with the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” by an honor guard of the United States Marine Corps.

The family will gather privately for interment at Mission Hills Memorial Gardens in Niles.

The family will receive relatives and friends beginning at noon Wednesday at the funeral home.

Contributions in memory of Joe Gessinger may be made to Hospice House, c/o The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care or to the Niles-Buchanan Hospice at Home.