Talk About Green Bay Heroes: RICH BESSERT 1951 -2008

JTB: Rich's greatest gift to Green Bay was the example he gave in the company he kept with his beautiful wife, Kay, and by bringing two of the very best people into our world, Andrea and Steve. His great life, energetic passion and quiet spirit will be lived on in these three special people.

Clifford “Rich” Bessert, 57, a longtime Green Bay resident, died at a local hospital Friday, July 18, 2008, of a heart related illness. He was born March 23, 1951, in Green Bay to Clifford R. and June M. (Butterfield) Bessert. Rich graduated from Ashwaubenon High School with the Class of 1969 and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. On July 28, 1978, he married Kay Vander Heiden at St. Agnes Catholic Church. For many years Rich was active in teaching, coaching and mentoring to numerous young adults throughout the area. First and foremost in Rich’s life was his wonderful family. He received distinction in the classroom and on the playing field, but what he really treasured in his career were the relationships that he built with many young men and women whom he had taught and coached. Rich was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather-to-be and a loving brother. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife, Kay, Green Bay; two children, Andrea Bessert, Oshkosh; Steve Bessert, Green Bay; his sister, brother and their spouses, Cindy and Bob Kardoskee, Ashwaubenon; Dale and Valerie Bessert, New Franken; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Carlene Bessert, Tom and Nan Vander Heiden, Dave Vander Heiden, Dan and Terry Vander Heiden; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and many many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Brian and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Bob and Jean Vander Heiden.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1484 Ninth Street. Visitation will continue from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church with Rev. Richard Getchel presiding. Blaney Funeral Home is assisting the family. To send on-line condolences, please visit

A memorial fund has been established in Rich’s name.

The Bessert family extends a special thank you to all of his friends who helped him achieve his dreams.

“Rich was one of the most upstanding men I have ever met. He had a way of stripping off the veneer to get to the truth of the situation. Using the fewest words possible, Rich got to the heart of the matter. He loved his Bride and his two children fiercely. After family and friends, Rich loved football in its purest most honorable form. He recently considered the hundreds of lives he touched through teaching and coaching and told me how lucky he was to have influenced so many. He went on to say that he prayed that he was always a positive role model in everything he did. I can testify there has never been a better role model.” -- Nancy Schultz and her son, Charlie


Anonymous said...

Good Bye Mr. B,

We love you! You had influenced me in so many ways and I miss you greatly. You were one the most amazing people I had ever had the pleasure of knowing. I have never forgotten you since the day I graduated, and the day you showed up at my house unexpectedly one summer afternoon. What a surprise that was to see your new Mustang that you had always wanted and couldn't wait to show me. I will never forget your infamous saying. (Since you always had your sunglasses on) "The Sun never goes down on the cool". Also, "I am the one that is normal and that everyone else is off a little because my personal perspective is my real perception". You were and will always be the greatest inspiration and influence in and on my life. Forever!
Thank you for everything!

Nic Baye and the Class of '98

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