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In loving memory of
Ronald Bessenecker
  • July 28, 1940
  • -
  • April 21, 2022

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Obituary

Russ Bessenecker passed away peacefully early Thursday morning, April 21, 2022, at 81 years of age.

Russ grew up in Davenport, IA in humble circumstances and was the oldest of 8 children. He joined the Navy as a young man and put himself through school at St. Ambrose College where he majored in English and History. Russ was engaged in a number of careers from the trades to education, and social services. But mostly, he was devoted to his wife Margaret and his four children from his previous marriage: Mike, Scott, Chris and Alison (Braswell). Russ treasured his 8 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren, and loved regular family reunions with his immediate family and siblings

Russ was a voracious reader and a lover of history. He enjoyed bringing new life to things that were discarded. He restored antique cameras and audio devices, cars, homes and was an adventuresome traveler. He cherished long walks along the beach with Margaret and went on hiking adventures in national parks all over the country.

Russ will be missed deeply by all who loved him.


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  1. Wineva says:
    05 May 2022
    Even though Russ & I have been divorced for many years we were married for 13 and raised 4 wonderful children together. We would visit when I visited o*7pmur daughter & family a few times a year in Fla. and when
    When he visited family in Iowa. He was my first love and I will truly miss him

  2. Lorri Lilja says:
    27 Apr 2022
    Russ and Margaret have been wonderful neighbors and such lovely people. Russ was always busy working on something in the yard but always had a friendly smile as I would go by. He was always willing to help out or make things easier if he saw me working on a project outside. I remember pressure washing and he offered his attachment to make things go quicker. Not only would he offer up equipment, he would offer his time to help get things done, such as when we had a hurricane coming and he helped board up my windows. This lovely gentleman will be greatly missed.

  3. Jan boydston says:
    26 Apr 2022
    Russ was not only a great neighbor but also a great friend. He always had a big smile every time I saw him and was always willing to give me a big bear hug when I needed one. I was truly blessed when he and his beautiful, sweet wife Margaret moved across the street from me. I have loved them both like family right from the beginning . Russ helped me many times with odd jobs when no one else would and gave me some very precious memories when he restored some old family pictures onto a DVD for me. He is and will always be truly missed.

  4. David & Fiona Mischke says:
    25 Apr 2022
    Deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to you Aunty Margaret, Mike, Scott, Chris, Ali and your families. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

  5. Margaret Childers Bartels says:
    25 Apr 2022
    I am shocked to see this today; Russ, we called him then, was my classmate first in Buffalo and then at Bettendorf High School. He was a talented orator and yes, very intelligent. I had a special circle of friends in school and he was one of them; So glad I was able to visit with him occasionally when was in town. Hope he did not suffer a lingering illness.

    Thanks to Dennis Wolken for forwarding this to me and my heartfelt sympathy to Margaret and the family he was so proud of.

  6. Dennis Wolken says:
    25 Apr 2022
    Russ was my school classmate and unique friend up to his passing. He was a very special and important person in my life and his passing is a great loss. I was blessed to have Russ as a friend. Heart felt prayers for his dear wife Margaret.

  7. Matt Peterson says:
    25 Apr 2022
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Scott, as you mourn the loss of your father. May the days ahead be filled with rich memories of his life and legacy.

  8. SCOTT A BESSENECKER says:
    24 Apr 2022
    Dad was such an intelligent and thoughtful man. I am so grateful for the legacy he left for the family. One of curiosity and risk-taking and justice. I'm grateful to see some of his qualities in me and in my children.

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