Robert Paul Hershey (1929-2018)

Ex-Fremont flower shop owner served in Army


FREMONT — Robert Paul Hershey, a former Fremont flower shop owner and operator who was a community volunteer and a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, died Wednesday at Elmwood Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing of Fremont. He was 89.

He died of lung cancer, Amy LeJeune, his daughter, said.


Mr. Hershey and his wife, Madelene “Maggie” Hershey, owned and operated the former Hershey Flowers from its inception in 1972 until the early 1990s, when they sold it. Before that, he worked at the former W.V. Hershey & Sons Cutlery, the family business, for about 20 years.

“He was definitely a people’s person,” Mrs. LeJeune said. “While mom handled the business side of the flower shop, he did the design and the people part. They were a dynamic duo.”

In retirement from business, Mr. Hershey was a bank courier at Croghan Colonial Bank, Fremont, until he fully retired in 2014 at age 85.

He also volunteered for the Fremont St. Joseph Central Catholic High School booster club, where he was a past secretary of at least 30 years and was inducted in the St. Joseph Hall of Fame for his service.

Said Mrs. LeJeune, “He was just a very kind man who liked to volunteer. He taught us how important it is to give back.”

Mr. Hershey was born April 28, 1929, in Fremont to Corinne and Willard Hershey, Sr.

In 1947, he graduated from St. Joseph High School in Fremont, and then attended Xavier University in Cincinnati for a year, before he went to work in the family cutlery business.

In 1951, he was drafted in the Army and later drove a truck for the 101st Airborne Division, stationed in Korea and then Germany until his honorable discharge in 1953 with the rank of corporal.

He then returned to Fremont to resume his work at the family business.

In 1954, he married Madelene “Maggie” Mosser. She died in 2017.

Mr. Hershey was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fremont, where he sang in a choir for at least 60 years.

His other memberships included the Knights of Columbus, where he was a fourth-degree member. His daughter said that when he was 20, he was Ohio’s youngest member of Grand Knight Council 591, Fremont.

In his free time, he enjoyed attending the Gourmet Club, Fremont, and vacationing in North Carolina and Florida with his family.

Mr. Hershey was preceded in death by his wife, Madelene “Maggie” Hershey; sisters, Mary Collins and Anna Werner; and brothers, Willard Hershey, Jr., and Richard Hershey.

Surviving are his daughters, Sharri Durdel, Sandy Yeager, and Amy LeJeune; sons, Joe, Jerry, and Andy Hershey; 16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Monday at Keller-Koch-Chudzinski Funeral Home, 416 S. Arch St., Fremont.

A memorial Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 709 Croghan St., Fremont.

The family suggests tributes to the booster club or the church.

Contact Mike Sigov at sigov@theblade.com419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.