Henry Bessel Sr., 95, had owned Bessel Realty
He was born in New York City, Sept. 1, 1912, son of Michael and Augusta (Marks) Bessel. He was educated in New York City Public Schools and later moved with his family to New Fairfield and helped operate the family dairy farm on Pine Hill Road.
He met his wife, Jennie, at the Danbury State Fair and spent 67 years together golfing, vacationing and celebrating their lives together between their homes in Danbury and Florida.
He served as constable for New Fairfield and was instrumental in starting the New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department, along with his brothers, and together with his brothers worked constructing many of the stone walls and roadways on Candlewood Isle.
He was in the Army, stationed in Texas during the war. In 1946, he, along with his brother, Eric and brother-in-law, Kenneth Ruppel, owned and operated the Ledgemere Hotel on Ball Pond.
He began his longtime career with the Barden Corporation as plant foreman. He retired after 35 years and opened Bessel Realty, a successful family-run real estate business. (It was acquired 15 years later by Coldwell Banker).
As an avid golfer he was responsible for starting the Danbury Industrial Golf League and served as its first president in 1955.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by five children, Henry Bessel and his wife Margaret, Constance Strait and her husband William, Patricia Hiro and her husband Paul, Denise Bessel and her husband Amin Pandolfi, and Lori Wallace and her husband Christopher.
In addition, he leaves behind 13 grandchildren, Heidi Chelednik and her husband Richard, Adam Bessel, Tara and Thomas Hiro, Cathrina, Gregory and Christine Strait, Stacy, Kim and Ryan Slater and his wife Lindsay, Amy Conte and her husband Danny, Brooke Schumacher and Brian Stoner.
He also leaves three great-grandchildren, Brandon and Zachary Chelednik and Victoria Conte. He was predeceased by three brothers, Arthur, Robert and Eric; and a sister, Augusta Ruopp; and a daughter-in-law, Yvonne Jacquith Bessel.
The Hull Funeral Home of Danbury was in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Danbury Hospital Development Fund, 24 Hospital Ave., Danbury, CT 06810.