John R. Wessner

John R. Wessner, 84, Altoona, passed away Tuesday at his home after an extended illness with his wife of 61 years by his side.

He was born in Hubbard, Ohio, son of the late Robert and Esther (Reinhart) Wessner. He married Anna G. Collins on Aug. 9, 1952, at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, Altoona.

Surviving are his wife; a daughter, Christine A. of Richmond, Va.; a son, John R. Jr. (Dawn) of Hollidaysburg; two grandsons: John R. (Courtney) and Joshua J. Wessner, both of Hollidaysburg; a sister, Mary (Banks) Wallace of Newry; a brother-in-law, Joe Collins of Austin, Texas; a special niece, Diana Kutruff; and a special neighbor, Tom Beam.

He was preceded in death by three sisters: Flora Wessner, Emma Kutruff and Roberta Erickson.

John was raised at St. John’s Orphanage, Cresson, until he was 15 years old, when he was given a home with an aunt and uncle, Emma and William Templeton. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, having served on active duty for more than five years aboard the USS Midway and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt during WWII and the Korean conflict. He also served four years with the Reserve. He received his GED while in the service, and he retired as a pipefitter with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 354 after 40 years of service.

John was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Altoona, and a life member of Bellwood Sportsmen’s Association and VFW Post 3 and American Legion Post 945, Altoona. He enjoyed woodworking, gardening, traveling around Pennsylvania and sitting on his back porch looking at Brush Mountain.

Friends will be received from 9 until the 10 a.m. funeral Mass Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Altoona. Committal with military honors will follow at Logan Valley Cemetery, Bellwood.

The family suggests that contributions in John’s memory be made to Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School Angel Fund or Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Altoona.

Arrangements are by Jon C. Russin Funeral Home, Bellwood.