Stonewall Gessner, 64, of Lake Upsilon, formerly of Minot, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at his home.
Stone-wall Edward "Stoney" Gessner was born Dec. 2, 1947, in Devils Lake, to Maxwell and Dorothy (Atkins) Gessner. He was reared and educated in Cando, graduating from Cando High School in 1965. Stoney furthered his education at the University of North Dakota, earning a degree in physical therapy in 1971. He earned his master's degree in physical therapy in 1993.
Stoney was united in marriage to Margaret "Peggy" Thomas on July 1, 1967, in Calio. Together they raised three children, Nicole, Stephani, and Maxwell. Following their marriage, he and Peggy lived in Grand Forks until he completed his degree. He was employed by UND Rehab until 1972, when they moved to Wadena, Minn., where he was employed at Tri-County Memorial Hospital for eight years. In 1980, they moved to Dickinson, where he was self-employed in private practice for seven years.
In 1987, they moved to Minot and he was employed at St. Joseph's Hospital as Director of Physical Therapy. In 2001, he became Director of Rehabilitation at ManorCare Rehab and Nursing Facility and worked there until his retirement in January 2012.
Stoney was a past officer of the Wadena and Dickinson Elks, and was also involved in the Eagles, Kiwanis, and Minot Curling Club. He was also Den Leader for Cub Scouts in Dickinson. He was a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and held various offices within the North Dakota Physical Therapy Association. Stoney was president of the Lake Upsilon Improvement Association and was involved in the Izaak Walton League. He enjoyed golfing, hunting and fishing, and especially spending time with his family at beautiful Lake Upsilon in the Turtle Mountains.
Stoney devoted 41 years of his life to being a physical therapist. In his profession he touched many lives with his caring, his compassion, and especially his sense of humor. He cared deeply for his loving wife and children. His attributes at work are reflected in his children, as he was so proud of them. He will be greatly missed by his wife, children, grandchildren, sister, and many, many family members and friends.
Stoney is survived by: his wife of 45 years, Peggy Gessner, of Lake Upsilon; daughters, Nicole (Craig) Arnold, of Rolla, and Stephani (Tom) Bertsch, of Lake Upsilon; son, Dr. Maxwell (Leslie) Gessner, of Bemidji, Minn.; seven grandchildren, Connor Glasner, Skylar and Cooper Arnold, Abby and Ava Bertsch, and Sophie and Stoney Gessner; sister, Maxine Frank, of Loveland, Colo.; and his nieces and nephews.
Stoney was preceded in death by: his parents; nephew, Ian Petersen; brothers-in-law, Charles Frank, William Thomas, Richard Thomas, and Kenneth Kranig; and sister-in-law, Theresa Andresen.
Memorial service: A memorial service will be held Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, at 1 p.m. at St. Joachim Catholic Church, Rolla. A Rosary Service will be held Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at 7 p.m. at St. Joachim Catholic Church, Rolla.
Informal gathering: An informal gathering will take place at Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot, on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, from 1 to 6 p.m.
Memorials: In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials are preferred to the family for establishing an endowment fund to the UND Physical Therapy Program.
(Elick Funeral Home, Rolla and Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot)
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).