Vernon O. Hesterman, 84, of Ridgeville Corners, passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family on July 26.
He was born to Carl and Anna Gerken Hesterman on May 1, 1928.
Orphaned as a child, he was raised by relatives and baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith at St. John’s Lutheran, Freedom Township.
Vern and his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Cordes, weremarriedin1948atSt.Paul’s Lutheran Church, Napoleon Twp., and had five children, who attended Ridgeville and Archbold schools.
A scholar-athlete, Vern graduated from Ridgeville High School in 1946 and BGSU in 1950. Vern taught at Ridgeville from 1950 to 1968, and also coached baseball, basketball, Pony and Little League.
He earned a master’s degree from BGSU in guidance and counseling in 1966. He was a guidance counselor at Four County Vocational School from 1968-1983.
For many years he sang in the choir, and served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher and superintendent at St. Peter Lutheran in Ridgeville.
He later returned to St. Paul’s Lutheran with his wife, serving as elder and participating in choir, adult Sunday School and Serving for Christ activities as long as possible.
He supported his children and then grandchildren in academics, church, sports, and other activities, first at Ridgeville, and later, at Archbold. He was even able to attend some of his greatgrandchildren’s activities.
A life-long community servant, he was on the Red Cross Board, the Henry County Hospital Board, and for 16 years, the Filling Home of Mercy board. For many years he helped deliver meals to shut-ins and was an editorcolumnist for the Ridgeville CRT newsletter.
He also participated in the Gideons, German Lutheran Heritage Society and Henry County Retired Teachers.
Despite a rough start in life, Vernon persevered, put himself through college and raised a family. His Christian convictions always guided his life choices.
With the same determination and faith that brought him through an unsettled childhood, he faced the rare disorder, progressive supranuclear palsy, that took his ability to walk, talk, or see. But he tried his best to stay strong and alert and help his caretakers– family, friends and Hospice (Community Health Professionals).
He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Phyllis; his children, Vicki of San Diego, Calif.; Linda (Randy Ridley), Sue (Steve Hurst), and Bob (Ann), of Ridgeville Corners; Tom (Carol) of St. Louis, Mo.; 13 grandchildren and nine greatgrandchildren; his brother, Eldon (Marcia) Hesterman, his sister, Kathleen Behnfeldt (Norm) Wiemken, and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents Carl and Anna Hesterman, and his stepmother, Mathilde Hesterman Behnfeldt.
Services were held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Napoleon Twp. on July 30. Visitation was at Rodenberger Funeral Home.
Vern dearly loved God, his family and friends, and his country. His passing leaves a huge hole in the lives of all who loved him. In his honor, “Go in peace and serve the Lord.”
Condolences may be sent to the family or online at email@example.com.
Memorials may be made to the Gideons, St. John Lutheran Stained Glass Fund, St. Paul’s Lutheran Memorial Fund, Ridgeville Township Friends of the Park or Hospice-Community Health Professionals.