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John R. Hesse, 91, industrial executive, WWII vet

Jan. 24, 1925 – April 3, 2016

John R. Hesse, an industrial executive and former East Aurora resident, died Sunday in Sarasota, Fla. He was 91.

Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., he served in the Army during World War II and trained in the new technology of radar. Returning from service, he attended the University of Michigan on the GI Bill. He was a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering fraternity and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in mechanical engineering.

He came to Western New York to take a job with Clark Brothers, now Dresser-Rand, in Olean, then joined Bass Industrial Sales in Buffalo.

His success in sales led him in 1961 to establish his own company, Hesse Industrial Sales, with offices above the Aurora Theatre in East Aurora. He served as a sales representatives for several lines of process engineering products.

Mr. Hesse went on to establish his own manufacturing company, Aurora Industrial Machining in Orchard Park. He later co-founded Vibration and Noise Engineering Co. in Dallas and acquired Texas Manufacturing Co. in Whitesboro, Texas. He retired to Florida in 1993, but remained active in his businesses.

He excelled in golf and tennis and was a longtime member of the East Aurora Country Club. He also enjoyed sailing on Lake Ontario.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, the former Marie Schumacher; a son, Robert; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in June.