Dr. Bruce Hessel

March 16, 1947 - November 27, 2022

Visitation: Friday, December 2nd from 10:30AM-12PM, Devlin Funeral Home, 806 Perry Hwy. Ross Twp.

Service: Private Committal Service, Christ Our Redeemer Cemetery

Dr. Bruce H. Hessel
On Sunday morning, November 27, 2022, Bruce Howard Hessel peacefully passed away following a seven year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Bruce, a caring, loving, devoted husband and father was 75 years old and resided in Allison Park, Pa. He was born to Benjamin Hessel and Dorothy (Blum) Hessel on March 16, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York.

Following graduation from Abraham Lincoln High School, Bruce was drafted into the US Army where he served as a combat medic during the Vietnam War.

Upon returning home, Bruce graduated from Long Island University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology; He then pursued his Master of Science degree from Duquesne University, followed by his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pittsburgh. It was during this time he met and married Karen (McCulloch) Hessel. They started their new married life in Bucks County, PA where they raised their daughter Elizabeth (Hessel) Urick.

Following graduation he served in the United States Public Health Service and then opened his private practice in New Hope Pennsylvania. He practiced Dentistry for over 35 years and returned to Pittsburgh five years ago to be near his daughter and participate in the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s disease Research Center’s (ADRC) BRITE Program.

Bruce was highly respected and beloved by all. His sense of humor and zest for life were contagious. He was an avid reader, triathlete, master swimmer, century cyclist and lover of all types of music. Recently, while in the ADRC BRITE Program he learned to play the Marimba and taught the class. Bruce achieved every dream and goal he set out to accomplish. Bruce was a private pilot, certified scuba diver, certified spinning instructor, local disc jockey in Sergeantsville New Jersey for WDVR radio, chef and photographer. He loved traveling and he would take his daughter on regular father-daughter trips to New York; they would attend Broadway shows, visit various museums, and attend 18 years of Thanksgiving Day parades and track and field events. They traveled together to Disney World, Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore to fish and to Jay Peak, Vermont and Aspen, Colorado to ski.

He served his community as a volunteer fire fighter for the Eagle Fire Company in New Hope, Pa, was the President of the New Hope Solebury Lions Club and volunteered as fund raiser for local charities. He was the Track and Field coach for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel track team in Doylestown, PA. Someone once asked us if “he could walk on water?” I guess he just hadn’t tried that yet! He was exceptional in everything he attempted. He was also proud of his Grand Champion Golden Retrievers and loved going to the AKC dog shows. Bruce loved life and lived it to the fullest. He was a gentle man, and true gentleman with a tender heart, and was a devoted husband and father.

He is survived by his wife Karen and daughter Elizabeth, son in law Matthew Urick, a sister Joan Skurnik of Los Angeles, California/Manhattan and his niece and nephew Jennifer and Jonathan Skurnik along with many relatives in New York and Florida.
He is survived by his extended family, Patricia (McCulloch) and Lewis Mastrobuono; Kathleen (McCulloch) and John Foley; Mary Ann McCulloch and Richard Beatty; James and Mary Beth (Uhl) McCulloch and his nieces Christina (Foley) and Anthony Creaturo and their children Anthony, Joseph and Sadie; Katie (Foley) and Damon Huerbin and Kelly McCulloch-Beatty.

Friends will be received on Friday, December 2nd at Devlin Funeral Home 806 Perry Highway Pittsburgh, PA 15229 from 10:30am-12:00 noon followed by a private family burial at Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery.
Donations in Bruce’s name can be made to the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Disease and Research Center 3459 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, Pa 15213 Attn: Leslie Dunn

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  • Elizabeth Moore Robenolt

    dear karen and elizabeth iam so sorry to hear about Bruce. It breaks my heart i worked for wilderman and helped bruce out many times he was a wonderful person. now he is with god. i will always think of you karen you are the nicest person. god bless you and elizabeth. betty robenolt

  • Leslie Ballantyne

    Dear Karen and Elizabeth,
    Saddened to read of your beloved husband and father’s death. Your young family sold us one of your golden puppies, named Duke, fall of 1987.
    Elizabeth was five, and I remember Bruce making sure to allow time for her to give the four mouth old puppy a bittersweet hug good bye, a beloved member of your family.
    We resided at that time in Buckingham, across from None Such Farms.
    More recently, I recognized Bruce by his soft-spoken voice when he and I were both volunteering for the CHHS Code Blue outreach to the homeless; he and I were drivers for the ecumenical nonprofit.
    It was a few years ago when it was held at the Lutheran Church on Main Street in Doylestown.
    He was delighted that I remembered him and that I shared my memories about one of his golden puppies. Duke lived to be 16 years old.
    My thoughts are with you during this difficult time, I wanted to send a couple of wonderful Dr. Bruce memories.

    Leslie Ballantyne
    Austin, Texas

  • Eileen woodring

    Having known Bruce for 50 years, I am honored to have been his friend. A pleasant spirit, a great sense of humor, married to my bestie! I smile when I think of all the pranks, schemes and predicaments we shared, Bruce always willing to be part of the gig!
    God keep you in His care until we all meet again! Well done my good and faithful servant.

  • Denise Bender

    Dear Karen,
    I was one of your part-time art teachers at Tamanend years ago also working many years at Holicong. I was very saddened to hear iof your loss. I trust you will be able in the not too distant future to remember all the wonderful times in the past, the joys, the smiles, the laughs. I trust they will warm your hearts at these difficult times. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care!
    Denise Bender


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