John Thomas Hesch
August 24, 1941 – August 9, 2020
John Thomas Hesch was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, founding member of St. Mary’s of the Hills parish, and loyal engineer at General Motors for his entire career. John passed away peacefully with loved ones on August 9, 2020 after a lifelong battle with heart disease.
John was born on August 24, 1941 in Titusville, Pennsylvania. His family moved a few times until settling in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. John’s childhood love of his mother’s Cowboy Cake has allowed future generations to enjoy cake for breakfast. After graduating from high school, he attended General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan. While in school, his cousin, Camilla Herold (nee: Reynolds), introduced John to her good friend, Mary Jane Mikolaizik, who became his wife. His co-op work during school and successful degree led him to work at General Motors in Flint, Michigan as an industrial engineer. John and Mary Jane had four daughters who kept them busy and kept them young over the years. He was active in the Knights of Columbus and was a Fourth Degree member. John had a huge workshop in his basement and was very handy around the house. He enjoyed spending time together with his family “Up North” in Houghton Lake, Michigan and visiting Mount Pleasant. A work transfer led John and his family to Rochester Hills, Michigan where he spent considerable time and effort to help found St. Mary’s of the Hills Catholic Church in Rochester Hills, Michigan. In his leisure time, which was not frequent between family, work, and church obligations, John was an avid golfer who managed to convince some of his daughters that it never rains on the golf course.
John enjoyed an early retirement at the age of 58 after having multiple heart surgeries due to his heart disease. He was diligent with his health care, having lost his father to a heart attack at the young age of 12, and is a testament to the benefits of modern health care. Retirement afforded him less stress and he was able to enjoy golfing and being a “snowbird” by traveling to Florida in the winter months to avoid Michigan winters. Eventually, John and Mary Jane moved to Florida full time where they were able to be close to Floridan family and provide a warm retreat for the family still living in the North.
John is dearly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Jane (nee: Mikolaizik), his daughters, Susan Whalen (Kirk), Jean Herta (Timothy), Janice Hickman (Jeffery), and Lora Graentzdoerffer (Andre), his 13 grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Noah, Jessica, Andrew, Richard, Megan, Samuel, Nathan, Peter, Jacob, Marie, Audra and Eric, his sister, Barbara Schnoes (Paul), his brother Russell (Catherine), and many nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Mass at Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Apopka, Florida will be live streamed on August 20, 2020 at 10 AM.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
John Thomas Hesch
Jodie (Mathis) Chant
August 16, 2020
My sincere condolences to the Hesch family on the loss of John. I grew up next door to John and Mary Jane around 1972 on Mulberry Lane in South Flint, Michigan and was friends with Susan. On behalf of myself and Jim and Judy Mathis, may God give you all peace in your hearts knowing John has arrived Home.