Claude Thomas Hessee, a loving family man, war hero and local community leader, passed away Thursday, May 20th, in Fort Pierce, FL. He was 95 years old.
Claude was born in 1925 in Chicago, IL to Claude and Frances Hessee. In 1943, Claude enlisted in the Marines at the age of 17 and attended Miami University (Ohio) and the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. Later, he was assigned to the Infantry Division in Korea, serving as a First Lieutenant and rifle platoon commander. He honorably served his country in this post until he sustained critical injuries after an enemy grenade exploded at close range. He recovered after spending nine months in military hospitals and was awarded a Purple Heart medal for his service.
After the war, Claude owned and operated a number of successful businesses in the real estate industry including companies in masonry, general construction services, residential real estate investing, and residential land development.
Claude was a kind and giving man in all aspects of his life who genuinely loved people. Most importantly, as a man of faith, he used his talents and experience to serve as a Church leader and create positive impact in the local community, leading the development of numerous projects including the Cedar Creek Life Center for Faith Lutheran Church, Open Arms Childcare Center for Trinity Lutheran Church, and, most recently, Alzheimer’s Community Care for Grace Lutheran Church.
Outside of his work and philanthropy, he was an avid world traveler, visiting over 100 countries across all seven continents during his lifetime. Stories of his travels were cherished by his family and will live on through the next generations. During one of his last trips, he cruised with his great-granddaughters, Sarah Gladdish, Jade Hessee, and Claudia Jane Hessee.
Claude was an inspiration to his family and friends. He was loved by many, and he will be deeply missed.
Claude is survived by his loving wife Patricia Hessee; his children Mark and Craig Hessee, Claudia Jett, and Karen Hood; his grandchildren Matthew and Tamara Hessee, Rachel (and her son Warren), Kirsten, and Inga Hessee, and Martin, Matthew, and Patrick Hood. He was predeceased by his son Kevin Hessee.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to a place Claude cared about: Grace Lutheran Church Alzheimer’s Daycare Building Fund, (772)-871-6599
Services: Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 from 5:00-7:00 PM at Haisley Funeral Home, Fort Pierce. A service will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Grace Lutheran Church, 555 SW Cashmere Blvd, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986. Burial will follow at White City Cemetery.