Robert Gene Fessler, 73, of Bellefontaine, and formerly of Bethel Township, Miami County, entered the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday evening, Dec. 11, 2018, at Kettering Medical Center.
Born Aug. 2, 1945, in Greenville, to the late Floyd and Thelma Miller Fessler, Bob is remembered as a loving and faithful husband, strong and gentle father, and joyful servant of God. The care and compassion he shared in modeling 1 Corinthians 13 left a significant impact on the lives of his children, grandchildren, friends and community.
Bob was married to Diana Marie Whitchurch for 50 years. Together they raised six children: Angela (Jim) King of Bellefontaine, Aaron (Kimber) Fessler of Mendham, N.J., Anne-Marie (Ryan) Cox of Xenia, Andrew (Sheryl) Fessler of Waynesville, Elizabeth (John) Hensarling of Baltimore, Md., and Olivia (Jason) Braaten of Woodstock, Coonn. He was also the proud grandfather of 23 grandchildren, Grace, Caleb, and Sarah King of Bellefontaine, Jared, Kaylee, Timothy, William, Aaron “AJ” and Isaac Fessler of Mendham, N.J., Ella, Matthew, Henry and Silas Cox of Xenia, David, Jacob, Lauren and Joshua Fessler of Waynesville, Liliana Hardwick and Jessica Hensarling of Baltimore, Md., and Nora, Arkin, Iver and Oscar Braaten of Woodstock, Conn. Bob is also survived by his sister, Patricia Locker, and brother, Gary Fessler, both of Troy. Lifelong friends include Denny Robbins of Savannah, Ga., Tom Eshleman of The Villages, Fla., and Don Patty, Rodney Geiger and Glenn Smith, all of Miami County.
A 1963 graduate of Newton High School in Pleasant Hill, Bob studied at Wright State University and sold insurance with Western & Southern. He met his wife while working as a licensed real estate agent at Home Merchants Realty in Dayton, and his success grew as a Monroe calculator salesman in Indiana and, later, in transport with Airborne Freight in Vandalia. In 1972, Bob entered the world of crane trucks and neon lights as the owner of Dayton Sign Company.
Many of the signs he crafted are still in use today. In 2006, he launched his next venture, Best Storage in Tipp City. He regularly encouraged customers struggling with difficult life circumstances, often using personal funds to help them navigate through hardships.
Throughout his life, Bob provided faithfully for his family, and his initiative is fully matched by his kindhearted spirit. Bright blue eyes and hardworking hands are reminders that Bob’s ultimate goal was to be available to the people who needed him. Amiable and optimistic, he strengthened others and took great joy in looking upward and outward.
Whether tending to his bonsai trees, visiting his son’s racetrack or taking in the wonder of flight, twinkling stars, hot air balloons, cars and Cushman scooters, Bob brought an upbeat attitude to each day. His inspiring life will long remain in the hearts and minds of all who knew him, and we find solace in remembrance of his great love, generosity of spirit and the kindness he so readily extended to others. He will be truly missed.
Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Fairhaven Church, 637 E. whipp road, Centerville, where calling is from 5 to 8 p.m. today, Friday, Dec. 14. Burial follows at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Miami County.
The family invites you to celebrate his life by wearing green, his favorite color. Those who wish to continue Bob’s ministry to the less fortunate in the community may donate to the Robert Fessler Compassion Fund at PNC Bank and to Believer'’ Assembly in Bellbrook.
Express condolences at www.littletonandrue.com.