Dr. Marjorie Walsh Hesler, a former Indiana State University professor, Presbyterian Church leader and Lay Minister, died Saturday April 23 from injuries in a bicycle accident last Wednesday in Terre Haute. She was 81.
The accident occured near her home in the Village Quarter. She was transported by helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Dr. Hesler served as a professor of communications at ISU from 1959 to 1988. A 1941 graduate of Brazil High School, she graduated from ISU in 1944, then earned a master's degree from Northwestern University in Chicago in 1946, and a PhD degree from Purdue University in 1972. She was a member of the ISU Senior Scholars Academy, Emeriti.
In her longtime church work, Dr. Hesler was a member of the Council of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley, and most recently, Moderator of its Commissioned Lay Pastor Committee.
As an ordained Lay Minister, she served in a number of churches in western Indiana, most notably in the Groveland Presbyterian Church in Putnam County.
Dr. Hesler was born in Brazil, daughter of Thomas A. and Ruth D. Walsh. Her husband, Charles M. Cochran, a decorated World War II veteran Clay County attorney, died in 1958. In 1961, Marjorie married Harry Ray Hesler, a farmer and Parke County's longest-serving Republican Chairman (1960-1992). Dr. Hesler, along with her three young children relocated at that time to Montezuma, Ind., in Parke County.
Harry Ray Hesler died in 1955 and Dr. Hesler moved in 1999 to her home on the east side of Terre Haute.
Dr. Hesler traveled widely -- to New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, China, Bangladesh, most of Europe, virtually all of the United States and was hoping to add Africa to her extensive list of the countries and continents visited studied.
She was a member of the Terre Haute Country Club, the D.A.R. and Tri Kappa Sorority. She served on the Boards of the Parke County Community Foundation in Rockville, Ind. and the Katherine Hamilton Center in Terre Haute.
She was an avid reader, loved to play Bridge and was an outspoken advocate for health and fitness. She was interested in everyone she met and lived each day with endless enthusiasm.
Surviving are sons, Kendall W. Cochran of Indianapolis and Dr. Charles M. Cochran of Spencer, daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Ann (Cochran) Swords of Danville: daughters-in-law, Mary Moses Cochran and Kay Robbins Cochran and son-in-law Dr. Thomas H. Swords: seven grandchildren, Anne E., Peter H. and Marry R. Swords, Charles M. and Cullen E. Cochran and Kendall A. and Abby R. Cochran.
Calling will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the Gooch Funeral Home, 112 Howard Ave., Rockville. Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Rockville. She will be buried between her husbands, Charles M. Cochran and Harry Ray Hesler at Roselawn Memorial Park in Terre Haute.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Harry R. and Marjorie W. Hesler Scholarship Fund, Indiana State University Foundation Office, Terre Haute, IN 47809; Memorial Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 53, Rockville, IN, 47872; or the Parke County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 296, Rockville, IN 47872.