Victor A. Gansser

Birth: May 22nd, 1926
Death: February 6th, 2018
Age: 91 years




Victor Augustus Gansser died the evening of February 6, 2018 at Bay Medical Care Facility with family by his side and the patriotic music he loved playing in the background.  Known to many simply as “Vic”, he was born May 22, 1926 to Webster H. and Nina (Traxler) Gansser. On September 20, 1952, Vic married Regina (Jean) Chesney.  Victor and Jean were loving partners and best friends during their 65 years of marriage. Separated briefly upon Jean’s death this past November, they are together again.  Vic is survived by two children, Susan (Bay City) and Donald (Deanna) (Lake in the Hills, IL), four grandchildren, Michael, Katherine (Joshua) Collingwood, Jonathan, Megan, and one great grandchild, Oliver Collingwood.  He is also survived by two devoted, loving sisters, Betty Krakowski of Winston-Salem, NC and Marlene (Jim) Fierens of Reed City, MI and several nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by a brother-in-law Jerry Krakowski.


Victor was employed as a Registered Civil Engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation for 37 years, retiring in 1989.  During his long career, he worked on road projects from Detroit to Grayling.


Victor was a loving, supportive husband, dad, grandpa and brother.  We have so many wonderful memories.  The many nights he stood out in the cold so we could have a backyard skating rink.  Attending Central High School football games, always with a stop at the Red Lion before heading home.  Family vacations to northern Michigan.  Watching the movie White Christmas.  After their kids were grown, he and Jean enjoyed many road trips together.  Vic was a U of M football super fan.  He loved animals, with a special place in his heart for his kitties Angel, Pepper and his beloved Murphy. Though self-proclaimed as tone deaf, he enjoyed listening to music. 


As a young child, Vic developed a deep sense of community and patriotism, instilled in him by his Grandfather, Colonel Augustus H. Gansser, who was Victor’s mentor and role model.  He honored the Colonel’s memory and the service of all Veterans every Memorial Day, attending services at Oak Ridge Cemetery, where his Grandfather is buried.  Victor is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving in World War II.  He believed it was an honor and a privilege to be a citizen of the United States.  He strongly believed in the power of one vote.


Victor was a good athlete, excelling in baseball and tennis in high school and college.  He shared his love of baseball with many youth for over 50 years as a Little League coach, umpire and fan.  He was one of a small group of dedicated people who organized an informal three team girls’ softball league in Essexville. This effort in the early 1970’s laid the groundwork for Essexville Girls’ Little League as we know it today. He was a steadfast volunteer and fan at Garber High School sporting events while his children participated and for many years after they had graduated.


Throughout his life, Vic served on many community boards and committees; Bay County Division on Aging Advisory Board, City of Essexville Zoning Board, Essexville-Hampton School Board, and the City of Essexville Charter Committee. He served as interim Essexville City Manager in 1995.  Upon his retirement, Vic enjoyed many volunteer opportunities - the Division on Aging flu clinic and senior income tax program, organizing the annual Family Independence Agency Christmas Giving Tree program, Bay Regional Medical Center Healthy Hearts program, and tutored local students in math. Victor was a 70 year member of Joppa Lodge No. 315 F.& A.M. , a member of  the Scottish Rite Bodies-Valley of Bay City, a member of American Legion Post 18 and a member of the First Presbyterian Church. In 1987 Vic was chosen to receive the Quintin E. Cramer Essexville Citizen of the Year Award.  In 2003 he received the Diamond Gem Award, which recognizes community volunteers over the age of 75.  


We want to express our love and gratitude to Vic’s many friends, relatives, neighbors, and caregivers, for the kindness, emotional and physical support with which you all have so generously blessed Vic and our entire family.  Victor’s family deeply appreciates the kindness shown to him and the compassionate care he received at the Bay Medical Care Facility over the past three plus years.  A special thank you to the wonderful staff of 2 East and the Activity Department.   


 The family will be present at thePenzien-Steele Funeral Home to receive family and friends on Sunday, February 11, 2018 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.  A celebration of Vic’s life will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 12, 2018 at Penzien-Steele Funeral Home.  The Rev. Joseph Atchison will officiate.  Private burial service will be in Elm Lawn Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, Vic would be pleased if you would consider a memorial contribution to Bay County Medical Care Facility Activity Department or a charity of the donor’s choice.                                                             












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