Funeral services and a Mass of Christian Burial for David D. "Coach" Wessel, 81, a resident of Davenport, will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 9, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 4097 18th St., Bettendorf. Burial will be in Davenport Memorial Park. The family will greet friends on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, 614 Main St., downtown Davenport. There will be additional visitation in the gathering space at the church on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to service time.
The family encourages friends to join them for a luncheon and time of sharing memories following the burial. The luncheon will be in the activities center at the church. They know how meaningful it will be to hear your special memories and stories of how Dave touched your life.
Dave died Friday, May 5, 2017, at his residence in Davenport. He was surrounded by his family and passed away following a courageous battle with leukemia. His family is comforted knowing that Dave has been reunited with his beloved wife, Kathy, who preceded him in death on March 6, 2017.
David Dean Wessel was born March 8, 1936, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Melvin and Maxine (Petranek) Wessel. He graduated from Roosevelt High School, where he excelled in sports, including football and basketball. He received a football scholarship to Drake University, and after a year transferred to Coe College to be near to his then sweetheart, Kathy. He graduated with a degree in education and his coaching certificate. He also obtained his master's in administration from the University of Iowa. While attending Coe, he was a three- year letterman in football, and in his senior year was named first team All-Midwest Conference center on Coe's championship team.
He was united in marriage to Kathryn Ann Miller on May 10, 1958, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids. They had been blessed with over 58 years of marriage at the time of her passing. Their love for their children and family always was a priority.
Dave, or Coach Wessel as he was known, began a nearly 60-year career in teaching and coaching, starting first in West Branch, Iowa. After one year, he accepted an assistant coaching and teaching position at Davenport West High School. His coaching career culminated in 409 career high school basketball wins and numerous awards and honors, with 38 of those years as head coach. His teams made eight state tournament appearances, winning championships in 1971 and 1994, when the team went undefeated 24-0. It is the only team ever in Davenport history to achieve this.
Following his retirement, he served as head coach of North Scott High School for one season, and then began coaching at Rivermont Collegiate, where he coached up until January of this year.
He was named State of Iowa Coach of the Year in 1989, and was inducted into the Coe College Hall of Fame in 1995, Iowa High School Athletics Association Hall of Fame in 2005 and Quad-City Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Coach Wessel has mentored and taught hundreds of athletes and students and his legacy will forever remain a part of Davenport West High School history.
He was honored in January 2016 to have the basketball court officially named the Dave Wessel Court. In the fall of 2017, he will be inducted into the Davenport Schools Ring of Honor.
His coaching career often overshadowed his teaching career, but he was just as dedicated in the classroom.
He was generous with his time and enjoyed volunteering for Meals on Wheels. His greatest joy came from the time he spent with his wife, kids and grandchildren. He especially cherished time spent together at the cabin on Twin Lakes. Coach Wessel always did things the right way and taught everyone to work hard and to never give up.
His love of sports was a constant in the Wessel home. He was a Cubs fan, and Sunday during football season was the day to watch the Chicago Bears. He also was a loyal fan of all the college sports programs throughout the state of Iowa.
Memorials may be made to the Dave Wessel Memorial. In honor of Coach Wessel the family will use these funds to send underprivileged student-athletes to basketball camps.
Those left to honor his memory include children and their spouses: James (Maria del Castillo) Wessel, Lynda (Todd) Kitzmann and Karen (Craig) Ford, all of Bettendorf, and Teri (Jason) Rexroth, Cedar Rapids; his 10 beloved grandchildren, Kyle del Castillo, Eric, Jordan (Ali) and Alex Kitzmann, Ben and Ryan Hillebrand and Luke Ford, Jaxon, Jevin and Taylor Rose Rexroth; his brothers and sister, Dan (Janice) Wessel, Moline, John (Carol) Wessel, Grays Lake, Ill., Dennis (Sandy) Wessel, Cedar Rapids, Mary (Bill) Keel, Hiawatha, and Jeff (Marla) Wessel, Cedar Rapids; as well as numerous loving nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family; and his little white dog, Maggie.
In addition to his wife, Kathy, he also was preceded in death by his parents, and his best friend, Ken Buckles. May they rest in peace.
Dave's family would like to thank Dr. Costantino and the office staff, the Genesis Infusion Center staff, Genesis Hospice and all the Quad City blood donors for their generous donation of life-saving blood.
Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Dave's obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.