Hesler - Rrussell - Link - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Hesler - Rrussell - Link

Source: Unknown (assumedly Crawfordsville Journal Review but no date)

The following letter, written by Walter Remley, a long-time
friend, pays tribute to Russell L. (Link) Hesler as a Legion-

To The Editor:
In bidding farewell to one of our dearest and longest friends
and certainly the greatest American Legionnaire in our
community, Russell (Link) Hesler, it is so sad that we near-
ly always wait until it is too late to give them the honors which
they have earned and deserved.

Jim Hook, Commander of Byron Cox Post, first talked to
me about having a Link Hesler night last summer, but at the
time we were all so deeply involved in the Crawfordsville
Centennial that there just seemed no time to take on any-
thing more.

But immediately after the Centennial, Commander Hook
appointed a committee for such a night consisting of Past Com-
manders Owen Crecelius, George Burns, Charlie Curtin
and Andy Browning with myself as chairman and asked us to
get busy immediately on such a project. We had several meet-
ings on what and how to do it and finally decided to bring
Link in on one of our meetings to brief him on our plans so that
he would not be too overwhelmed. He seemed overjoyed and
we thought we were all set.

We picked Thursday night, Nov. 16, as Hesler night and had
a wonderful program planned and had given the project pub-
licity all over the department, so that we would have had lots
of Link's friends here from all over Indiana.

A beautiful framed citation was prepared to give him a sub-
stantial sum of money collected for gift certificates. But about
a week before Nov. 18 we realized that Link would not be able
to go through with the sort of gala evening we had planned
and he admitted to me that it was worrying him, so at his sug-
gestion we put it off until some time after the first of the year.

As weeks went by, we sadly realized that we would have to
give up completely the sort of party we had hoped to give him
so we quietly planned without even letting him know about it
to make the presentations of the gifts at the Christmas Eve
Party at the Post, but again Link could not make that. So
after a thorough session of the committee shortly after the
first of the year we gave the gifts to him in the privacy of
his room at the Monon Hotel.

A little later Link wrote the Post one of his characteristical-
ly appreciative letters, as only he could do it and now he's gone
to his eternal reward and all our Post members will realize
more and more these next few months just how much responsi-
bility Link still carried at the Post. He will really be missed.
I was in Culver Hospital from Feb. 1 to Feb. 24 and getting to
see and visit with him so often (as we were only doors
apart on the third floor) was one of the compensations of my
stay in the hospital. Members of my family also visited with
him daily, but the day I left I had the feeling that that might
be our last visit, but he gave me a hearty handshake and a
cheery parting, "I'll hope to be seeing you soon.”

After the gifts were presented to him in January, I made up a
list of the 69 donors to the fund which came from the Legion
Posts at Veedersburg, New Ross Ladoga, Greencastle and Byron Cox Post and it's auxiliary and his fellow employees at The Journal-Review and presented it to him.

Mrs. Mary Burns had also presented him a beautiful wrist
watch as a part of the project. We also presented him a copy
of the remarks we made about him in our December Post radio
program, which he appreciated having.

We stated that we doubted if anyone in this area could equal
or surpass his record as a good Legionnaire and to substantiate
the statement I quote direct from the script:

"Link grew up in Crawfordsville, graduating from high
school here and from Wabash College in 1917, where he was a
member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He attended the
first Officers' Training Camp in the spring of 1917 and was com-
missioned as a Second Lieutenant and served until the end of
the War in November of 1918. He was active in getting the
Post organized in 1919 and has been a forty-seven year contin-
uous member. As a continuous member of The Journal-Review
staff he has written stories totaling thousands of inches
about Legion activities over the years, which have contributed
immeasurably in making Byron Cox Post one of the outstanding
years, which have contributed immeasurably in making Byron
Cox Post one of the outstanding Posts of Indiana. He has filled
every office in the Post, except chaplain, Finance officer and
service officer. He has undoubtedly attended more Legion
meetings over a longer period of time than any other member of
our Post and has taken an active part in nearly every phase of
the Post's many, many activities. He has been especially
active on membership and on the Memorial 'committee. He
has handled the latter so well, which is now such a big project
at Memorial time, that it hasn't been necessary for several years
to get the cooperating organizations together before Memorial
Day for each one knows so well what is expected of them. He
has written thousands of letters, and sent sympathy and get well
cards to bereaved families and individual Legionnaires or mem-
bers of their families who were sick or injured in accidents—
this has been at his own expense for postage, even though the
Post had authorized postage for him. He is currently a member
of the Membership, Visitation and Memorial Committees and
a valued member of the Post's Executive Committee, whose
judgment is respected and honored by other members of the
committee. He had also continued to write the copy for the
monthly Post Bulletins and articles for The Journal-Review
about the Post's doings. He also handled all the publicity as he
had done for many years for the Christmas Fund for the Sun-
shine Society just before Christmas. And he was Byron Cox
Post's first Life member. What a Legionnaire—he's hung up a
record that will never be exceeded and perhaps not even

      “Walter B. Remley, chaplain
      and past commander Byron
      Cox Post No. 72.

Source: Crawfordsville Journal Review 14 March 1966
Rites Conducted
For ‘Link’ Hesler
Funeral services for Russell
L. (Link) Hesler were held Sat-
urday afternoon in the Hunt
and Son Funeral Home with
Rev. Howard F. Miller officiat-
ing. Burial was in the family
lot in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers
and assisting with the floral tributes
were Andy Browning, Dr. Fred
N. Daugherty, Newton Fuller,
John Harper, Guy Fairchild,
past commander, and James
Hook, commander of Byron Cox
Post of the American Legion, of
which the deceased was a past
Military services were held
at the grave with Ed Dickerson
in charge, assisted by Russell
Miller, Donald Kelso, Jack
Foster, James Elledge, Robert
Lookabill, John Alsop, Charles
Curtin, James Coons, William
Connell, Jason Keim, Carroll
Cordes and Glen Switzer. Bug-
lers were Raymond Abbott and
Steven Pratt. Representing
New Ross Post 427 were George
Terry and George Partner,
Darlington Post 302—A. E.
Werkhoff, Ruel Cornelius and
Wilbur Adams and the 40 & 8
Voiture—Hubert Massing.
Selections were played on the
organ by Mrs. O. C. Edwards.
Mr. Hesler, associated with
The Journal-Review and its pre-
decessors since 1918, died Tues-
day night.
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