Published in Kansas
City Star on November 4, 2012
John Charles Hessler,
55, of Belton, MO, died peacefully on Oct. 31, 2012. John was born June
3, 1957, to John and Shirley Hessler.
After graduating from Grandview H.S., he attended Crowder College on a
baseball scholarship. His sophomore year he was drafted by several major
league baseball teams, including the Mets and the Phillies, but turned
them down to continue his education at Tulsa University.
In 1978, in a 3rd round draft, he started his professional career as a
pitcher for the Houston Astros.
"Big John" was a jokester with a big heart that matched his
big personality. He loved spending time with family and friends and was
always the life of the party. He always took pride in a hard days work.
John is survived by his 3 daughters, Julie and Lori Hessler, Kristi Watt;
3 granddaughters Alize', Hailey and Paige; brothers and sisters Butch
and Skip Gregory, Gail Cole, Chris and Gretchen Hessler, Gloria and husband
Mike Brinker, as well as many nieces and nephews, extended family and
In one last act of giving, John decided to donate his body to Science
Care, a research institute.