James Joseph Gessler

September 20, 1926 - November 14, 2001

09/20/1926 - 11/14/2001

Past Services

Thursday November 15, 2001
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Virginia Beach
5792 Greenwich Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
800-934-4648 | Directions
Saturday November 17, 2001
Mt. Calvary Cemetery Wheeling
National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003
Saturday November 17, 2001
11:00 am
St. Michael Catholic Church
1225 National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003
242-1560 | Directions

GESSLER, James Joseph, 75, of Fort Henry Avenue, Wheeling, died Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2001, in the Wheeling Hospital.

He was born Sept. 20, 1926 in Wheeling, the son of the late Henry F. and Julia Lally Gessler.

He attended Cathedral Grade School; graduated from Wheeling Central Catholic High School; attended Toledo University and received his bachelor of science degree from Tokyo University.

He was a member of St. Michael Catholic Church, Wheeling; a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict; a member of the U.S. Army Honorary Reserve Corp. and was awarded the General Bradford Medal as the Top Service Athlete in Japan.

He was the former manager of Fredrick’s Sporting Goods Company; District Manager for Reserve Life Insurance; and was a special agent with the State of West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Commission.

He was honored by Governor Moore as winner of Distinguished West Virginian Award; received the ABCC-Employee of the year award; Secretary of State-Community Service Award; Jaycees-Citizen of the Year Award; Radio-Community Service Award; St. Vincent de Paul Society as Volunteer of the Year; Prudential Insurance Company as Volunteer of the Year and the Cathedral Grade School with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

He was a graduate of the State Police Academy in 1977; a member of the F.O.P.A; former member of the Board for the Blind; played professional basketball for the Wheeling Blues; was an originator of the Wheeling Outdoor Basketball League where he coached and played for over 12 years; a member of the Warwood Vets, V.F.W. Post No. 4442; the American Legion Post No. 1; Elm Grove Civics; Elm Grove Eagles; Senior Services and National Federation of Police.

He was also the former President of St. Vincent de Paul Society; former director of the St. Vincent de Paul Store; former member of the Board of Directors at Catholic Community Services; former National Trustee of St. Vincent de Paul Society; served the blind in the area for over 30 years organizing camp acitvities for the blind and originating yearly trips to Pirate baseball games and was a member and past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carroll Council No. 504, Wheeling.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred Welling Gessler; three brothers, John, Harry and Charles Gessler; a sister, Mary K. McDermott; and a grandson, Scott A. Charlton.

Surviving are six sons, James H. and his wife, Beth of Bridgeport, Ohio, Robert E. and his wife, Debbie of Wheeling; Thomas L. and his wife, Kathy of Wheeling, David A. and his wife, Brenda of Wheeling, Brian J. and his wife, Ginny of Wheeling and Kevin M. and his wife, Mari of Wheeling; a daughter, Brenda Gessler Murphy and her hushand, Bernie of Wheeling; a special friend, Georgia Doerr of Wheeling; 14 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several nephews and nieces.

Friends will be received on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2001, 6-9 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 16, 2001, from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1400 Eoff St., Wheeling. Funeral liturgy with Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Michael Catholic Church, Wheeling. Interment in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling.

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Joyce Fiorilli
8 years ago

Growing up in St. Michael’s Parish, everyone knew the Gessler family. Mr. Gessler was a good friend of my Dad’s and he always offered friendly assistance to us when shopping at Frederick’s.

Please know my deepest sympathy is with you and your family at this time of loss.

John W. Deakin Sr.
8 years ago

The Gessler Family= You have my Symphony. Wheeling will miss Jim Gessler. I will miss the articals he put in the newspaper, he told it like it was. God Bless All of you

Bishop Donald J. McCoid
8 years ago

TO: Family of James Gessler

I extend to you my sympathy and prayers. I gave thanks to God this day for the life of Jim Gessler.He was indeed a gift of God to his family and friends.

Jim Gessler lived life with a a graciousness and warmth that touched many lives. His outgoing, caring personality made people feel welcome and valued. In a society that often moves too fast and does not treasure the importance of relationships and care for others, Jim was a model of caring, loving relationships.

In your remembrances, treasure the wonderful gifts that Jim shared with you and with so many who were proud to claim him as a friend. May the Resurrection hope bring you comfort and peace. May our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in these days of separation and loss. Eternal rest grant Jim, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him.

May the Peace of Christ be with you.

Bishop Donald McCoid

Marlene’s brother-in-law/Bob’s brother

Tom Cerra
8 years ago

With deepest sympathy to your family.