Frederick Andrew Hessick, 92, who began his career in 1913 delivering blocks of ice from a horse-drawn wagon and built the business into one of the Washington area's largest coal and fuel oil companies, died of pneumonia Oct. 19 at a hospital in Miami Beach.
At his death, Mr. Hessick was chairman emeritus of the Hessick Companies, which comprise five separate corporations based at 33 New York Ave. NE, about a block from where Mr. Hessick was born in 1895.
A graduate of Eastern High School, Mr. Hessick was 17 when he purchased a used ice wagon with a $25 loan that he paid off over two years at a rate of 25 cents a week. A local grocer lent him $150 for a team of horses, and Mr. Hessick began hauling ice for the ice boxes in the homes of middle-class Washingtonians.
But the work was seasonal. No one needed ice in the winter, so Mr. Hessick began looking for something to do in the cold weather. He tried selling coal door to door, and recalled some years later that he sold his first load of coal to a boarding house proprietor on Rhode Island Avenue NW -- at $13 for four tons.
Mr. Hessick served in the Army during World War I, then returned to his ice and coal business in Washington. But it was not long before he began to sense that the new refrigerators would soon make ice boxes obsolete, and in 1924 he sold the ice business to concentrate on coal.
For years before urban renewal changed the face of Southwest Washington in the late 1950s, the Hessick coal yards at 14th Street and Maine Avenue were a familiar Washington sight, and during the peak years Hessick trucks were delivering 100,000 tons of coal a year.
But Mr. Hessick also sensed that home heating oil would become a more popular fuel than coal, and in 1932 he got into the fuel oil business. "A lot of my competitors said nothing would ever replace coal," recalled Mr. Hessick in a 1975 interview with the old Washington Star. "They're out of business now."
As Mr. Hessick's coal business dwindled -- it amounted to only 1,300 tons in 1975 -- his oil business grew. Since he was a supplier of both types of fuel, Mr. Hessick was able to keep many of his old customers when they switched from coal to oil heating, although in recent decades electric and natural gas heating have cut deeply into the oil heating business.
At present the companies making up the Hessick organization are Hessick Inc., H.R. Grayson & Son, Vienna Fuel, Community Oil of Loudoun and Blankenship Oil Co.
Since retiring about 10 years ago, Mr. Hessick had lived in Miami Beach, where he had been living for part of each year for several years before that. He was a Mason and a member of Naval Lodge No. 4, the Scottish Rite Temple, and the Almas Temple of the Shrine. He also belonged to the University Club, Kenwood Golf & Country Club and Congressional Country Club.
His wife of 60 years, Sydney Miller Hessick, died in 1979.
Survivors include one sister, Lucille Hessick Stump of Arlington.
ALVIN S. WAGNER,
89, a retired teacher, coach and athletic director at the St. Albans School for Boys, died of pneumonia Oct. 20 at a nursing home in Lewisburg, Pa.
Mr. Wagner was born in New Berlin, Pa. He graduated from Bucknell University and studied in the graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.
He moved to the Washington area in 1932 and joined the staff at St. Albans, where he later was chairman of the faculty and served on the board. He retired in 1966 and moved back to Lewisburg.
Mr. Wagner was a member of the Federal Schoolman's Club.
His wife, the former Hazel S. Spangler, died in 1974. Survivors include two daughters, Mary E. Wagner of New York City and Nancy Hart of Williamstown, Mass.; two sisters, Hazel Ellsworth of Naples, Fla., and Elva Boyer of Reading, Pa.; two brothers, Dale Wagner of Owensboro, Ky., and Horace Wagner of Lewisburg, and four granddaughters.
PAULINE G. SMITH,
72, a retired pressroom supervisor with the Navy Department's Defense Printing Service, died of cancer Oct. 15 at D.C. General Hospital. She lived in Washington.
Mrs. Smith was born in Arlington. She attended the old Armstrong Technical High School and completed a course in practical nursing.
She joined the Veterans Administration in the early 1940s and later transferred to the Navy Department. She retired about 1969. She later worked as a switchboard operator.
Mrs. Smith was a member of the Defense Printing Retirees Association, the Happy Heart, a senior citizens organization, and First Rock Baptist Church in Washington.
Her marriages to Robert Smith and Charles Twine ended in divorce.
Survivors include two daughters by her second marriage, Paulette Twine and Claudia Jamison, both of Washington, and one grandson.
75, a retired aeronautical engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration, died of cancer Oct. 19 at his home in Silver Spring.
Mr. Rosenbaum was born in New York City. He graduated from the City College of New York and received a master's degree in physics from Columbia University.
He moved to the Washington area in 1946 and joined the Civil Aeronautics Administration. He was chief of the dynamics, loads, airframes and equipment engineering branch when he left that agency in 1962. In 1963 he went to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Advance Manned Space Flight Program.
He joined the the FAA in 1964 as a structural dynamics specialist with the supersonic transport program. He retired in 1969 and became an independent consultant specializing in the study of the flutter characteristics of the space shuttle.
He was an author of the book, "Aircraft Vibration and Flutter," published in 1951. In 1951, Mr. Rosenbaum was among 50 outstanding federal employes recognized by President Truman.
Survivors include his wife, Adele Rosenbaum of Silver Spring; one daughter, Joan Miller of Brookville, Md.; one son, Nathan Rosenbaum of Springfield; one brother, Henry Rosenbaum of Albany, N.Y., and one grandson.