John D. Besse

GLADSTONE – John D. Besse, 86, of 7364 Lake Bluff 19.4 Road, Gladstone, passed away Saturday morning, July 27, 2013, at his home. John was born in Butternut, Wis., on Aug. 17, 1926, the son of Arthur and Gertrude (Klein) Besse.

John was raised in Butternut and following high school he went into the Navy. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota and received his master’s from the University of North Carolina. He has lived in the area for over 50 years.

John was the founder of Besse Forest Products.

Survivors include: his loving wife, Patricia; children, Melissa (Jim Roulo) of Shawno, Wis., Greg (Diane) of Gladstone, Marrijo (Dave) Koen of Minneapolis; stepchildren, Jeffery Abrahamson of Alexandria, Va., Victoria Abrahamson-Cass of Fox Point, Wis.; grandchildren, Gabrielle, Cain, Amber, Aprylle and Alex; step-grandchildren, Heather, Graham, Zachary, Mary Pat, Kelly, Gabrielle, Noah, Mathias, Jaden, Tony and Audrianna; John’s beloved dogs, Peaches and Dominic.

He was preceded in death by his late wife, Melissa; his parents, Arthur and Gertrude Besse; brothers, Arthur Jr. and Robert; sister, Helen; and stepson, Gary Abrahamson Jr.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 11 a.m. at St. Anne’s Church with Rev. Fran DeGroot officiating. A luncheon will follow the funeral in the church hall. Visitation will follow the luncheon from 1:30 until 4:30 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home in Escanaba. The Delta County Veterans Council will conclude the visitation with military services.

Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the John and Patricia Besse Foundation to be used for additional community projects.