John Hesch
John Hesch

Obituary of John Rodney Hesch

John Rodney Hesch passed away in the arms of his son and former wife on August 10th, 2023 at the age of 72 from acute kidney disease and other complications. He was not alone we held him close.

John was born in St. Paul, MN to parents John and Alice (Jansen) Hesch on October 24th, 1950. He is preceded in death by his parents, and beloved brother, Greg.

John is survived by: his son Conor (Bridget) Hesch; step-son John (Celeste) Kienzle; the love of his life and former wife Eileen Leo; brothers Mark and Jerry Hesch; sister Julie (Stephan) Pozel; sister-in-law Janet Hesch; many loved grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

After graduating from the U of MN with a degree in Psychology John’s career spanned social work to customer service but his vocation was coaching individuals through Anger Management Courses held at the Twin Cities Men’s Center on Lyndale Ave S. for over 25 years. Like many other men, John first came to these classes as a student. After completing the classes, he began volunteering; over the years his roles and responsibilities at the Men’s Center grew and grew but so did his sense of belonging. Upon his retirement, Mayor Jacob Frey proclaimed November 18th, 2021, John Hesch “Men helping Men with Anger” day in the city of Minneapolis.

John was an avid reader and traveler; it was not uncommon for him to be reading three books at once, or to give you bullets from the Civil War for Christmas. He collected all types of artifacts from the very rare to the very common. Pottery and Arrowheads from ancient civilizations, like the Anasazi tribes of the Southwest, adorned his library but so did piles of agates we found together on the North Shore. He took us to caves, cliffs, and coasts. Glaciers, gold mines, and ghost towns. Battlefields, bridges, and bookstores. Mountains, monuments, and museums. Rivers, railroads, and rain forests. Small towns, long trails, Twins games, and of course more bookstores. He described himself as a hobbyist who liked history but to our family, he was Indiana Jones.

John will be remembered for his hallmark smile, akin to the Cheshire Cat’s, that he wore frequently and offered freely. He showed a tremendous amount of patience and kindness to the people he cared for and those who cared for him; always learning peoples’ names and their stories. Even during difficult times, he created community wherever he went as he believed YOU need to be the change that YOU want to see in the world.

John’s life will be celebrated on Sunday, September 24th at the Cremation Society of MN (7110 France Ave S, Edina MN 55435) from 12:00-4:00 pm with a special hour of remembrance including stories, songs, and prayer from 1:00-2:00 pm.

If desired, monetary memorials can be made in John’s name to Conor Hesch who is setting up a Scholarship for Anger Management Classes in his honor.


Celebration of Life

12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Cremation Society of Minnesota - Edina
7110 France Avenue
Edina, Minnesota, United States
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