Robert Blake Hessler

January 03, 2024

Robert Blake Hessler, 76, died peacefully on December 16, 2023, at his home on John’s Island, SC, following a struggle with diabetic complications after pancreatic cancer.

Robert, also called Bob, was born February 2, 1947, in Philadelphia. His parents, Howard and Marie O’Donnell Hessler, moved to Wilmington, DE, where Bob graduated from Brandywine High School. Following graduation with a degree in journalism from George Washington University in 1969, Bob went to work for Sun Oil Company in public relations. In 1972, he began a lengthy career with Hercules, Inc. in Wilmington, finally retiring as head of public relations. In 1978, he married Elizabeth Bonwill Wright of St. Davids, PA, with whom he raised a daughter and son in Wilmington, Delaware.

In 2003, Bob and Bonnie moved to Chatham, Massachusetts, where Bob took up a second career as a personal chef, doing what he loved best. Bob was an excellent bridge player, a member of the Circulating Library of Chatham, and an avid tennis and paddle tennis player. Passionate about the community, he served several terms on the Zoning Board of Appeals in Chatham. He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Chatham and co-chaired stewardship and capital campaigns.

Bob is survived by his wife, Bonnie, daughter Maggie Dailey, her husband Paul, and children Pierce and Mallory of Louisville, Colorado; son Caleb Hessler and grandson Jameson Hessler of Chatham, Massachusetts; brother Howard B. Hessler of Nevis, and niece Laura Peterson and nephew Justin Hessler.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Hollings Cancer Center, MUSC, or PANCAN.ORG, pancreatic cancer research and patient advocacy.