We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at House of Wheat Funeral Home, Inc.
Ollie James Hassell, affectionately known as O.J., age 74, of Farmersville, Ohio, went to be with the Lord September 8, 2022, surrounded by family and friends. His love of life didn't come to an end with his courageous battle with cancer, but rather through our dedication to the Lord and commitment to family his legacy will live on.
Ollie was born March 31, 1948, in Humboldt, Tennessee to the late Sudie Bell and Willie Ollie Hassell. He was the oldest son of nine (seven sisters and one brother). Ollie grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana but was a resident of Ohio for 55 years, with Farmersville, Ohio having a special place in his heart. Ollie’s love of the country began with childhood summer visits with his great-aunt “Momma Matt” in Tennessee.
Ollie was a hard worker who started working at the age of 14 at the A&P Grocery Store. He worked for over 50 years at a variety of companies; Monsanto Research Corp., Mound Laboratories, Miller Brewing Company, Delphi Technologies, General Motors, retiring from AK Steel Holdings Corp., formerly ARMCO, in 2019. It was his job with Eckrich Meats that brought him to Ohio as a route salesman.
He was a Journeyman Millwright, and his passion was to maintain, repair, and update machinery. O.J. enjoyed his career and showed great pride in his work, he believed in doing the job “right the first time”. He loved to learn and became a teacher and mentored others who showed interest in mechanical work.
He was most proud of his military service. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served during the Vietnam War. He later continued his service with the Army Ohio National Guard. O.J. completed the Army Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He ultimately advanced to the rank of Captain. He had over 18 years of dedicated and meritorious military service.
One of his favorite pastimes in retirement was fixing his tractor, 4-wheeler, or simply tinkering in his garage. He was the type of guy that wanted to learn how to fix something himself. He loved living in the country, going fishing and hunting, and always looked forward to doing projects around the house with his sons and grandchildren. Ollie wasn’t afraid to try new things, had an uncanny ability to dream big, and was always optimistic about the future. He was incredibly proud of his children and grandchildren and would brag about them to anyone who would listen and deeply loved his brother, sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
As a child, Ollie played the violin for the Children’s Philharmonic in Fort Wayne. He inherited his love of music from his parents, who were quartet singers. He was a member of the Living Water Full Gospel Baptist Church. He was an avid lover of sports and played basketball overseas during an England duty tour for the United States Air Force. O.J. also played softball and loved to watch his children, grandchildren, great-nieces, and great-nephews play sports in school.
Ollie never met a stranger and was generous to everyone he met. His gregarious personality was contagious.
Ollie is survived by his children, Spencer Allen (Karaline) Hassell, Sharrell (Julian) Hassell-Goodman, James Ryan/J.R. (Tiffany) Hassell, James Brandon (Danielle) Hassell; grandchildren Jarya Dezriale Hassell, Ryan Jase (R.J.) Hassell, Amiya Nicole Donson, Jaxson Julius Goodman, and Myles Williams Hassell; loving siblings, Mattie Fields, Maxine Shivers, Sue Stubbs, Sandra (Butch) Kimble, Phyllis (Gregory) Murray, Richard Hassell, Doris Sanders, Kim Robinson; and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Dad, we love you and we will forever miss you. Your legacy will live on forever.
Homegoing celebration 12 noon Friday, September 23, at the House of Wheat Funeral Home, Inc., 2107 N. Gettysburg Ave. Visitation 10 am-12 pm. (Mask Required). Live stream link: www.facebook.com/Stream-All-Services-102620271622310/ In lieu of flowers, memorials to the American Cancer Society, The Fisher House Foundation, and Hospice of Dayton are appreciated.