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John “Corky” Pliley Hesler

John “Corky” Pliley Hesler, age 75, a resident of Chillicothe, Missouri, passed away on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at his home.
John was born on July 2, 1947 in Trenton, Missouri. He held an Associate’s Degree from Trenton Junior College. He was a real estate appraiser for approximately the last thirty years of his life.
In his youth, John was a dedicated member of the Boy Scouts of America for many years; he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and was a member of Mic-O-Say. A passionate musician since childhood, John played in numerous bands over a span of at least 50 years. He played in various venues across the Midwest as a drummer and singer. When he wasn’t making music, John had an affinity for creative writing; he penned several short stories, as well as an unpublished stage play.
John never knew a stranger and was able to strike up a conversation at the drop of a hat. He was well-known for his strong will and independent spirit, though he was as kind as he was stubborn.
In 1970 John married Wanda Mae Saale. They soon welcomed their first son Jaime. Soon after, they had a second child, Justin Dee, who died shortly after birth. After living in both Maryville, and Chillicothe, the family moved to Houston, Texas, and eventually had their third son Luke. John and his family returned to Chillicothe and remained there until Wanda passed away in 2010.
After the loss of his wife, John eventually found a new partner in recently widowed Cecilia Harper. They connected through mutual losses of their significant others and enjoyed many years together until John’s passing.
John is survived by his partner, Cecilia Harper of the home; sons, Jaime (Shelia) Hesler, and Luke (Kim) Hesler; grandchildren, Sean, Stephen, and Graham Hesler; one brother, Donald “Skip” (Pam) Hesler; his brother-in-law, Roger Antle; one aunt, Ann Debus; several brothers and sisters-in-law, as well as a multitude of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wanda (Saale) Hesler; infant son, Justin Hesler; parents, Delbert and Dorlean (Pliley) Hesler; brother, Charlie Hesler; and sister, Cynthia (Hesler) Antle.
Memorial services will be held at the Grand River Multi-Purpose Center, Chillicothe, Missouri, on Saturday, April 1, 2023, from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm. In lieu of sending flowers, please make memorial donations to the John Hesler Memorial Fund or to Ronald McDonald House Charities.