JOHN N. HASSINGER

John N. Hassinger, age 89 of Constantine, passed away at his home on May 1, 2020. John, the second child of Merritt and Cleo (Avery) Hassinger, was born on August 20, 1930 at the old homestead out on Millers Mill Road in Constantine, MI.

He is survived by his special friend Barbara Adcock of Elkhart, Indiana and her family. He is also survived by his older sister Norma Moord, younger sister Dorothy (Bud) Jennings, and younger brother Roscoe (Dorothy) Hassinger.  

John was a very special uncle to Norma’s family: Timothy (Neila) Moord of Champaign, Illinois, Mitchell (LouAnn) Moord, Kimberlee (Greg) Bojanich and Peter (Cheryl) Moord all of Constantine, Kristina (Steve) Hoye of Mattawan, and Sally (Nick) Cook of Elkhart, Indiana. Dorothy’s family: Tom Jennings, Steve (Denise) Jennings, and Shane Jennings (Laurie Longcore) all of Constantine. Roscoe’s family: Scott Hassinger, and Mike (Becky) Hassinger all of Three Rivers, MI. He is also survived by 19 great nieces and nephews and many great-great nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his parents, brother-in-law Olney Moord, niece Kay Hammond (Jennings), and nephew Karl Jennings. His former spouse, Mary Louise Hassinger, died June 18, 2018.  

During John’s early years, he worked on the farm and attended Constantine Public Schools, graduating in 1949. After high school, John joined the Air Force and trained as a Communications and Radio Tech at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. He loved the Air Force and in November 1952 applied and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet training school. Before John could begin the training program, word arrived that his father, Merritt, had been injured and John was needed at home. He received an honorable discharge from the Air Force in February 1953 and headed home to run the family farm.

In 1965, John ventured out and established Constantine Turf Farm which was the pride and joy of his life. He started growing sod at the old onion marsh and employed many of his nephews in his new business enterprise. The turf farm prospered and eventually moved to the mineral soils found along US 131 in Constantine. John grew his company into a highly successful turf farming operation and ultimately sold the business to his nephew, Peter Moord, in 1995.  

After retiring from the business, John enjoyed many hobbies. He raised both miniature ponies and Haflinger horses. He could be found showing his ponies, carts, horses, and stagecoach at many area fairs, festivals and parades. He annually took his Haflinger horses and pulled a wagon at the Circus Parade in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He never forgot his interest in flying and had a Cessna plane and landing strip at his farm and flew the skies over southwest Michigan.

John also enjoyed traveling in his later years. He and Barbara journeyed to Alaska, Florida, Brazil, France, Cabo San Lucas, and South America. They also cruised the Caribbean, the Mississippi River, the Panama Canal, and the Mediterranean.

John was a member of the Constantine American Legion and the Constantine Rotary. He was also a member of the Turfgrass Producers Association and attended their annual sod conferences held in many varied locations across the United States.  

During the latter years of his life, John still treasured the Constantine Turf Farm and spent many hours out on the sod fields. Even though he was in failing health for the last 5 years of his life, John loved to stop at Meeks Mill for breakfast and then head out to tour around the farm…often several times per day. He could usually be found in his Lincoln at the edge of any current turf field. He read, observed, and often reported his observations, ideas, and suggestions to Pete and the workers at the farm. Whenever he could do so, John loved to ride along on a random delivery to check out the sights. Anyone who knew Johnny Hassinger, knew that he loved his Turf Farm.

Per his wishes, cremation has taken place. Funeral services are pending and will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan (hospiceswmi.org), or to Constantine Township Library. Arrangements entrusted to Eley Funeral Homes in Constantine. Online messages may be left for the family at www.eleyfuneralhomes.com.

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