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James Hessel, 71

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James Andrew Hessel, 71, died June 30, 2014 at Knute Nelson in Alexandria.

James was born September 10, 1942 in Wadena to Clarence and Marjorie (Heard) Hessel. He graduated from Henning High School and then attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis for Drafting.

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On September 21, 1963 James was united in marriage to Vicki Helander at the First Baptist Church in Henning. The couple spent a short time living in Fergus Falls before he enlisted in the U.S. Army in January of 1966.

James and Vicki were stationed in Anchorage, Alaska and he was honorably discharged in December of 1968. The couple then settled in Alexandria, where they were blessed with a daughter, Kari. James worked at Bellanca Aircraft and 3M in quality control until he retired in 2004.

James belonged to The Salvation Army, where he enjoyed being a Bell Ringer. He also belonged to the Alexandria American Legion Post 87, where he served as chaplain for a few years and enjoyed visiting the veterans in the nursing homes.

His hobbies included woodworking and hunting. He also enjoyed his road trips driving on Route 66 and 61 and their multiple trips to other states.

He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Vicki, of Alexandria; daughter, Kari Hessel of Kansas City, MO; sister, Judy (Jeffrey Edington) Lillis of White Bear Lake; uncle, David (Doris) Heard of Henning; many cousins; other relatives and cherished friends.

James was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Marjorie.

A funeral service was held Thursday, July 3 at Grace Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Craig Dahl officiating. Music was provided by Laurie Musselman, Vicki Dahl and Dale and Susan Lundblad. Military honors were provided by the Alexandria American Legion Post 936, VFW Post 936, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 235, and the Minnesota National Honor Guard.

Interment was at Inman Cemetery in Inman Township, Otter Tail County. Casket bearers were Dennis Heard, Delwyn Helmbrecht, Dale Haugejorden, Roger Bakewell, Donovan Johnson and Bill Malyon.

Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.

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