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AGC of Ohio Founder Passes, Leaves Behind Great Legacy

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It is with a heavy heart that AGC of Ohio announces that one of the association’s founding fathers, E. Grant Hesser, passed away on December 26 at his home at Sand Hill Cove in Palm City, Fla. at the age of 94. Hesser was an icon of the construction industry in Cincinnati and worked at Maescher Industries, Inc. (the former Chas. V. Maescher & Co., Inc.) and served as president until 1983. After moving to Stuart, Fla., he continued on as chairman until 1996.

Hesser was highly respected in the construction industry and his contributions were many. Among other things, he founded AGC of Ohio and was a lifetime director of AGC of America; was one of the founders of the American Council of Construction Education; and he was past president of Cincinnati AGC/Allied Construction Industries and the American Institute of Contractors. Hesser was honored in Cincinnati in 2010 with a Spirit of Construction Award for his many years of service to the industry.

His service and activities were not just oriented to construction, but to the communities in which he lived. He was a life member and past president of both the University Club and Gyro Club of Cincinnati; a past board member of the Cincinnati Country Club; a member of The Cincinnatus Association; past president of the Cincinnati Dartmouth Club; and served on many non-profit boards. He was an Eagle Scout and was recognized with the Silver Beaver Award for his dedication to scouting.

Hesser was an accomplished sailor for 61 years, as well as an avid woodworker. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was often heard humming. He always had a smile and a hearty "Hello!" for everyone he met.

Hesser was born in Bowling Green on Jan. 11, 1919 and grew up in Cincinnati. He graduated from the Manhattan Friends School in New York City, Dartmouth College, and attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific in World War II and achieved the rank of Lt. Commander.

Hesser and his first wife, Betty, raised three sons. Son Grant V. Hesser, president of PDSC Corp. in Cincinnati, is an AGC of Ohio member and very active with the association as well as AGC of America. Hesser is survived by his second wife, Joan S. Hesser of Palm City, Fla.; his three sons and their wives, Grant V. (Carol), Peter L. (Nancy) and John M. (Tina); seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and step-daughters Susan Downs and Nancy Lynn Ludcke.

A memorial service was planned for Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Palm City Presbyterian Church. A memorial service is being planned in Cincinnati, but no date has been set at this time. Memorials may be made to the Palm City Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati Gyro Club Foundation, or Dan Beard Council of Cincinnati-Cincinnati Boy Scouts of America.

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Associated General Contractors of America
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