In Memory of William "Bill" R. Hesse

William "Bill" R. Hesse
William "Bill" R. Hesse
Born: September 23, 1934
Died: December 1, 2017
Age: 83
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William "Bill" R. Hesse
September 23, 1934 - December 1, 2017
From: Battle Creek, IA

William “Bill” R. Hesse, age 83, of Battle Creek, Iowa, passed away on Friday, December 1, 2017, at the Methodist Manor of Storm Lake, Iowa.

A Funeral Service will be held on 10:30 a.m., Friday, December 8, 2017 at the First Presbyterian Church of Battle Creek, Iowa. The Rev. Kevin J. Freese will officiate. Committal Service will follow in the Mt. Hope Cemetery with Military Rites conducted by the Maple Valley Post No. 364 of the American Legion both of Battle Creek, Iowa. A visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday, December 7, 2017, at the First Presbyterian Church, of Battle Creek, Iowa. The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Battle Creek, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at

    William “Bill” Richard Hesse, was born on September 23, 1934, to William W. and Ethel B. (Carlson) Hesse, in Charter Oak, IA. Bill graduated from Anthon High School with the class of 1953.  In the same year, Bill entered the United States Naval Reserve and in 1955 entered the United States Army where he served overseas in Europe as part of the ASA.

     Bill was honorably discharged from the military in January of 1958 and returned home to Iowa. In March of 1958, Bill met the love of his life Ruth Marie Heldt of Battle Creek, IA. The couple were married on October 19, 1958 and shared over 50 wonderful years together. Bill and Ruth were blessed with four children David, Dennis, Daniel, and Julie.

    Bill enlisted into the Iowa Air National Guard where his unit was activated and Bill was deployed to Korea. Bill spent 13 months overseas before returning home to his family.

    Bill enjoyed gardening but his true passion was playing music. He stated, “It was the best part of my life”. Bill loved every dance he played, “most of the time it was off the wall, but that is what made the job so much fun”. He enjoyed playing with other musicians such as his brother Al, his nephew Alan Hesse, Larry Kisor, Dick Bloyer, Peter Peterson, Bob Whitney, John Withart, Harry Bradstreet, and Jim and Janell Conley. 

    Left to cherish his memory are his four children David Hesse of Battle Creek, IA, Dennis (Kelly) Hesse of Republic, MO, Daniel Hesse of Storm Lake, IA and Julie Hesse Kennebeck Menke (Jim Menke) of Smithton, MO; grandchildren Cheyne (Kacie) Hesse, Megan Hesse, Seth Hesse, Justin (Lacey) Hesse, Aaron (Kristin) Patrick, Colby Kennebeck (fiancé Scott), Colissa (Christopher) Nole, Bradley Hesse, Danielle (John) Suzuki, and Benjamin Hesse; great-grandchild Ryleah, Hadleah, Jillian, Quinn, Gracyn & Emery, and soon to arrive first great-grandson Kannon David Nole; brothers Dwayne (Virginia) Hesse and Jerry (Dixie) Hesse; sister Donna Kleihauer; extended family and friends.

    Bill was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ruth Marie Hesse on March 29, 2010; parents William and Ethel Hesse; brother Alvie (Alta) Hesse; sister Arlene (Verlin Schumann & William Gregg Snyder) Schumann; and brother-in-law Kenny Kleihauer.


10:30 a.m., Friday
December 8, 2017
First Presbyterian Church
Battle Creek, Iowa


Rev. Kevin J. Freese


Ben Hesse
Cheyne Hesse
Seth Hesse
Aaron Patrick
Justin Hesse
Christopher Nole


4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
First Presbyterian Church
Battle Creek, Iowa


Vocalist Alan Hesse & Colissa Nole


Mt. Hope Cemetery
Battle Creek, Iowa


Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 3:20 PM
“I was happy to have known your father and to have been part of his life! He was a fun person to have known. He made me laugh! I will miss him. I hope he had the music “bill bailey” played at his funeral like he wanted. He and Ruth are dancing in heaven to it I hope! Just found out he had passed. So very sorry! I was proud to be called his “girlfriend “.”
- Sandi Dilworth
Friday, December 8, 2017 at 2:09 PM
“Sorry to hear about Bill. I must say, he lived life to the fullest. Never a dull moment around him. He enjoyed coming to the library and catching up with all the latest happenings and enjoying a joke or 2!! He certainly kept the ball rolling... He loved going to the nursing home and picking at the piano while my Mom sang. Oh, they were a pair. Condolences to all the family, but he left a lasting legacy.. RIP Bill!!”
- Mareta Vermeys
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 11:03 PM
“Bill was the spark of the We Five Combo. Along with loving to perform, he was a natural lyricist and that made for many great laughs! I'm sure he is singing and enjoying The Green, Green Grass of Home with Ruth. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. ”
- Jim & Janelle Conley
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 11:02 PM
“Sorry for your loss,prayers and thoughts to the family,Enjoyed meeting Bill when the band went and played at Fonda Ia.”
- Cecil Neely
Friday, December 1, 2017 at 5:21 PM
“My Sincere Sympathy to all of Bill's family”
- Heidi Howard
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