OBITUARY

Joseph Francis Gessner Jr.

October 28, 1946January 8, 2019
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Joseph F, Gessner Jr., a retired Baltimore City Fireman, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. The Fallston resident was 72.

Known to everyone as Joe, Joe Joe, Uncle Joe, and by his grandchildren as “Pap,” he was a devoted public servant, a dedicated father and a great friend to all. Born and raised in Waverly, he is remembered fondly by his childhood friends. Stephen and Nancy Barnaba wrote: “Growing up in Waverly, his service to our country, and service with the BCFD, it's time to rest in peace. May the Gessner family know that Joe was a great guy to grow up within the Waverly community as well as to work within the fire department in Baltimore City.” He attended Mervo high school, worked in the sheet metal business with his uncle before enrolling in the United States Army. In the military, he became a firefighter, a career he would continue upon his discharge. He followed in his father’s and brother’s footsteps and joined the Baltimore City Fire Department in October 1968. He worked as several stations before he landed at Truck 7 on Greenmount Avenue, near the old Memorial Stadium. He retired from Truck 30 in May of 2000, after 32 years of public service. Upon retirement, he worked for his nephew’s company doing residential fire and water restoration.

He was a consummate and caring family man. The fiancée of his grandson, Chelsea Hooker portrays it well: “I was first introduced to "Pap" almost 5 years ago when I started dating his grandson, Zach. Both of my grandfathers had passed by this time and Pap reminded me so much of my Poppy. They were both Baltimore City firefighters and had served in the military. Pap was also the heart of the family and would do anything he could to help someone in need or just to put a smile on your face. Losing Pap has been much like losing my own grandfather. I know Pap will be looking down on Zach and I on our wedding day in May.”

An avid sports fan, his hobbies included fishing, golfing and crabbing. He was a member of the Fire and Police Golf Association and was well known in his neighborhood for bringing home bushels of crabs and hosting crab feasts for family and friends.

In addition to his wife of 45 years, Jayne (Ross) Gessner, a retired Human Resources Executive at area nonprofit organizations, he is survived by his daughter Bridgette who lives in Pasadena, a son Geoff who lives in Ten Hills and a son Jason from Bel Air; daughters in law: Lisa, Lisa and Mary, a brother Richard, three sisters: Nora, Cass and Deborah, and eight grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents Joe Sr. and Nora, a younger brother Bobby and an older sister Joann.

Viewing will be held at the Schimunek Funeral Home, 610 West MacPhail Road, BelAir, Maryland on Friday, January 18, 2019, 3:00-5:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-Noon. A Celebration of Life will be held on January 19, 2019 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, 310 E. Jarrettsville Road, Forest Hill, Maryland.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Kylee’s Dancing Angels, P.O. Box 60, Baldwin, Maryland 21013 or see link below.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, January 18, 2019
  • Visitation Friday, January 18, 2019
  • Visitation Saturday, January 19, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, January 19, 2019
REMEMBERING

Joseph Francis Gessner Jr.

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Kay Glover

January 18, 2019

Hi Jayne,

I have been thinking about you since I heard about Joe's passing. I remember meeting him at my first NCIA Christmas party in 2012, particularly how sweet and gentle he was. I also remember all the memories you shared about the pranks he played on you for April Fool's day. I know you guys had a beautiful life together, full of great memories and I continue to pray that you find comfort in your memories at this time and strength to face the coming days.

You're in my prayers,

Kay

Cynthia Hodge

January 18, 2019

Jayne,
I was devastated to hear that Joe had transitioned on. I would always say to him that he would be the husband I would pick. I am so happy that you had the opportunity to be his choice in life because he was definitely a caring, compassionate man. I enjoyed hearing him call you at work to ask what you wanted him to prepare for dinner. I know he will always be with you and I am here for you whenever you need a listening ear as you have always been for me.
Love you Jayne

Denise Barnett

January 16, 2019

So sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, Joe. Our prayers and love are with you and the family. May God continued to give you strength and comfort in this time of sorrow.

Peace, Love & Joy
Denise
NCIA

Robinette Bailey

January 16, 2019

Jayne you and the family have my deepest condolences. I have very fond memories of you, Joe and the kids . Joe was such a great and funny guy . He will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him. Joe may you continue to Rest In Peace.

Earl EL-Amin

January 14, 2019

Jayne, on behalf of the EL-Amin family we extend our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.May God comfort and strengthen you and extend his mercy on Joe.He will be missed especially seeing him at NCIA" holiday party.

Stephen Barnaba

January 13, 2019

Rest in peace Joe. Growing up in Waverly, his service to our country, and service with the BCFD, it's time to rest in peace. May the Gessner family know that Joe was a great guy to grow up within the Waverly community as well as to work within the fire department in Baltimore City. Our prayers are with Joe and his family.
Stephen and Nancy Barnaba

Walter Billips

January 12, 2019

Hi Jayne hope all is well as to be expected. If I am unable to make the wake my wife and I send our sincere condolence. I thought about you and Joe at the company Xmas party, always at the receiving entrance. May you and your family find some comfort in this time of lost. Moreover, I miss you.
Walter

Jane Champagne

January 11, 2019

So sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy to the family.

Catherine Ermann

January 11, 2019

So sorry Jayne,Bridgette,Jeff Jayson and Joe also his grandchildren.Love and prayers I know he will be missed by many.

Mark Johnson

January 11, 2019

Jayne,
I'm sorry to hear about your loss. We all must go where Joe has departed one day, and it doesn't matter how big, strong, weak, rich or poor you may be. As much as we try to prepare ourselves for this moment, it appears that we're never fully prepared for it when it affects someone dear to us. You have my sincerest condolence! Keep your head up and keep it strong!

Mark Johnson
NCIA

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Biography

Joseph F, Gessner Jr., a retired Baltimore City Fireman, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. The Fallston resident was 72.

Known to everyone as Joe, Joe Joe, Uncle Joe, and by his grandchildren as “Pap,” he was a devoted public servant, a dedicated father and a great friend to all. Born and raised in Waverly, he is remembered fondly by his childhood friends. Stephen and Nancy Barnaba wrote: “Growing up in Waverly, his service to our country, and service with the BCFD, it's time to rest in peace. May the Gessner family know that Joe was a great guy to grow up within the Waverly community as well as to work within the fire department in Baltimore City.”
He attended Mervo high school, worked in the sheet metal business with his uncle before enrolling in the United States Army. In the military, he became a firefighter, a career he would continue upon his discharge. He followed in his father’s and brother’s footsteps and joined the Baltimore City Fire Department in October 1968. He worked as several stations before he landed at Truck 7 on Greenmount Avenue, near the old Memorial Stadium. He retired from Truck 30 in May of 2000, after 32 years of public service. Upon retirement, he worked for his nephew’s company doing residential fire and water restoration.

He was a consummate and caring family man. The fiancée of his grandson, Chelsea Hooker portrays it well: “I was first introduced to "Pap" almost 5 years ago when I started dating his grandson, Zach. Both of my grandfathers had passed by this time and Pap reminded me so much of my Poppy. They were both Baltimore City firefighters and had served in the military. Pap was also the heart of the family and would do anything he could to help someone in need or just to put a smile on your face. Losing Pap has been much like losing my own grandfather. I know Pap will be looking down on Zach and I on our wedding day in May.”

An avid sports fan, his hobbies included fishing, golfing and crabbing. He was a member of the Fire and Police Golf Association and was well known in his neighborhood for bringing home bushels of crabs and hosting crab feasts for family and friends.

In addition to his wife of 45 years, Jayne (Ross) Gessner, a retired Human Resources Executive at area nonprofit organizations, he is survived by his daughter Bridgette who lives in Pasadena, a son Geoff who lives in Ten Hills and a son Jason from Bel Air; daughters in law: Lisa, Lisa and Mary, a brother Richard, three sisters: Nora, Cass and Deborah, and eight grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents Joe Sr. and Nora, a younger brother Bobby and an older sister Joann.

Viewing will be held at the Schimunek Funeral Home, 610 West MacPhail Road, BelAir, Maryland on Friday, January 18, 2019, 3:00-5:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-Noon. A Celebration of Life will be held on January 19, 2019 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, 310 E. Jarrettsville Road, Forest Hill, Maryland.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Kylee’s Dancing Angels, P.O. Box 60, Baldwin, Maryland 21013 or see link below.