Mr. Robert Eugene Schlessman, 97, died peacefully Friday, December 27, 2019 holding the hand of his beloved wife, Grace Lundholm Long Schlessman . Born July 25, 1922 in Denver, CO., Robert was the oldest son of Aaron A. Schlessman and Helen Bernice Schlessman. A memorial service will be held at 3:00pm Saturday, January 4, 2020 at Park Pointe Village in Rock Hill, SC, followed by a burial service in the spring of 2020 at Crown Hill Cemetery in Denver, CO.
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Robert and his wife, Grace had dated in Denver, CO before he left as a Navy Ensign to board the U.S.S. Chikaskia from San Francisco to the war in the Pacific. He remained active in the US Navy Reserve after being honorably discharged on August 4, 1946 until his Navy retirement, having taken vacation time to serve on board ship and served as Navy Commandant for the Ponca City OK area.
After the war, Robert owned half interest in a diner in Oakland, CA and purchased shares in a Lockheed Lone Star plane. During his time at the Oakland Airport, he met Lucille Bell Storro and her daughter, Barbara and his life took a different direction. He sold his interest in both businesses and he and Lucille were married in Denver by his father, Reverend Aaron A. Schlessman on February 10, 1948.
On his return to his hometown, Robert began working at Continental Oil Company. He had received a B.S. in Chemistry from Colorado State University in 1943, after which he was sent by the Navy to Princeton University for officer’s training before being assigned.
In 1961, after working at various Conoco refineries as a chemist, Robert was moved to Ponca City, OK as a Process Engineer. In 1967, in that capacity, he and Lucille moved to London, England, where he designed the tank farm for the Humberside Refinery. In 1973, they returned for another four year project. Robert continued to consult in England for Conoco as he took on other projects for the company after their return to Ponca City. He also worked as a Lobbyist for Conoco, making several trips to Washington, D.C. in that capacity. His 37-year career with Conoco was one of growth and adventure, but in 1985, he chose to retire. With Lucille, he spent time traveling and enjoying friends and family.
Both he and Lucille were active members in the Disciples Class of the First Baptist Church, Ponca City, OK. After her death in January of 2003, he remained so, weekly visiting those in hospitals and nursing homes and others in need.
In 2011, Robert contacted Grace Long in San Diego, CA after learning from her sister that Grace was widowed, asking her to accompany him to a USS Chikaskia reunion there. The romance rekindled and they were wed April 2, 2012, relocating to Park Pointe Village, Rock Hill, SC. Their years together were short but blessed, his family so grateful for the beautiful, loving person he has brought into their lives.
Robert Schlessman was a kind, humble man who quietly touched many lives, giving generously of his time and money, sharing his faith through word and deed. He is survived by his lovely wife Grace, his two daughters, Barbara West of Hagerstown, MD and Deborah North and husband, Charles of Lewisburg, PA; 6 grandchildren, Jeffrey West of Allen, TX, Bryan West and wife Lisa of Hagerstown, MD, Robert West and wife Genine of Smyrna, TN, Marisa North and fiance Philip Edney of Stinson Beach, CA, Chad North and wife Kira of Lewisburg, PA and Christopher North and wife Dora of Torrance, CA; 4 great-grandchildren, Jordan, Sydney and Bryan West of Smyrna, TN and Rachel West of Hagerstown, MD.
Robert was preceded in death by his wife Lucille, his son-in-law Milton West, his grandson Eric West, his two sisters Helen Evans of Denver, CO, Kay Moorhead of Oxford, MS and his brother Howard Schlessman of Westminster, CO. Memorial contributions may be made to Baptist Children’s Home, 16301 S. Western Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73170.