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Obituary: Dorothy Harriet Hesel

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Dorothy Harriet Hesel

GREENVILLE – Dorothy Harriet “Dottie” Hesel, born Dec. 22, 1936, passed into eternal rest on Sept. 17, 2023, at Albany Medical Center.

The only child of John H. “Jack” Piersma and Martha Beatrice George Piersma, Dottie grew up in Breakabeen, graduated from Middleburg Central School in the Class of 1955, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from SUNY Potsdam, Class of 1959.  She met Larry Hesel at a square dance in Middleburg while he was home on leave from the U.S. Army during the Korean War. They married in the summer of 1959 and built a home on a parcel of the Hesel Farm in Lambs Corners.

Dottie worked as a waitress at Ingalside Farm, gave private piano lessons to local children, and was the organist for years at the United Methodist Church of Norton Hill.  When her girls were a little older, she worked at Story’s Nursery, then went on to create floral arrangements at Bohne’s Bouquet until she retired.

Enchanted by Native American heritage, she perfected the art of creating corn husk dolls, teaching others her craft. She was a member of the Clematis Garden Club and won many ribbons for her floral arrangements at the Altamont Fair. Dottie was also a member of the Greene County Camera Club with Larry, and they enjoyed going on field shoots together.

Dottie was an excellent painter and sewer, often making clothing for her girls and herself, including her own wedding dress. Later in life, her creative outlet turned to quilting with the Greenville Quilters. She always gifted her children and grandchildren with her thoughtful creations.

Dottie was predeceased by her husband, Lawrence Frank Hesel, on April 29, 2009. She is survived by her daughters, Aileen Dorothy Hesel (Allen Totzeck) of Greenville, and Jeanette Ann Gabriele (Rudolf) of Sarasota, Florida; and four grandchildren, Gianna Nicole Ingles (Jason) of Ballston Spa, and Lorenzo Rudolfo, Luca Guiseppe, and Isabella Rosa-Mia Gabriele, all of Sarasota; and her best friend, her tuxedo cat, “Baby.”

Calling hours will be at the A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home, 4898 State Route 81, Greenville, on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. until noon, during which time a funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Burial will follow the calling hours in Greenville Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Community Partners of Greenville, P.O. Box 252, Greenville, NY 12083 will be appreciated. Condolence page is available at ajcunninghamfh.com.

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