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In Memory

Francis Hassler (Hassler) - Class Of 1940


Francis 'Fran' L. Hassler

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Francis 'Fran' L. Hassler


April 16, 1923 - May 15, 2013

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Francis "Fran" L. Hassler, age 90, died at the Community Hospital of McCook on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.


He was born in McCook on April 16, 1923, to Francis and Honora (Moore) Hassler. He attended St. Patrick's Catholic School and graduated from McCook High School in 1940. Fran was an outstanding athlete, lettering in basketball. He enjoyed American Legion Baseball in the summer months and was an all-stater and recruited by the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns, a career interrupted by World War II. Fran enrolled at McCook Community College and played basketball, graduated in 1942. He was a starter on the team which became the Nebraska Junior College Champions with a record of 16 and 3. One of those victories was against the famous Harlem Globe Trotters in a 42-37 victory. His basketball skills attracted the University of Nebraska. He transferred to UNL in the fall of 1942. After just one semester, he volunteered for the Army Air Corps. He was trained as both a pilot and a radio operator. He saw service in the European Theatre. He received major wounds on Dec. 24, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge. He eventually underwent rehabilitation at Bushnell Hospital in Brigham City, Utah.


After the war, Fran returned to McCook where he was united in marriage to Donna Dee Burroughs on Aug. 8, 1946. Donna preceded him in death in 1990. Fran began his long term career at the U.S. Postal Service. He retired in 1978 from the Postal Service, having risen through the ranks to become McCook's Postmaster.

Fran was an avid sports fan, observant Roman Catholic, a member of the St. Patrick's Catholic Church. He was a member of the American Legion Post No. 0203 and the VFW Post No. 1652; McCook Elks; National Association of Postmasters of United States. Fran was a committed Democrat in a mostly Republican state.

Fran was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Donna; brothers, Joseph and Robert and a sister, Eleanor.

He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth and husband, Robert Hoyt; Maureen and husband, Lonnie Wood, both of McCook; sons, Jerry and wife, Kathleen of Phoenix, Arizona; Robert of Omaha; 10 grandchildren: two step-grandchildren; eight great-grand-children; two step great-grandchildren; sister: Mary Ann Comminiello of Denver and special friend, Jo Smolczyk.

For over a year, his grandchildren had planned a celebration in honor of his 90th birthday during the Memorial Day weekend. Now, the family will celebrate his life with a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, May 25, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in McCook. Rosary will be recited on Friday night, May 24, 2013, 7:30 p.m. at the Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel. Interment will be held at the Calvary Cemetery in McCook.

Visitation will be on Thursday and Friday May 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel in McCook.

Memorials may be given to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel at 607 Norris, McCook, is in charge of arrangements.

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05/20/13 04:56 PM #1    

Elsie Baldwin (Budig) (1958)

Maureen,  So sorry to hear about your dad, my love and prayers to you and your family.   Aunt Elsie


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