JMH, 1954-2016

I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. It is with sorrow that I must report that my father-in-law, Rev. Joe Hesh, passed away last Tuesday afternoon, March 8, 2016. On Sunday, he took a turn for the worse, and by Monday afternoon it was apparent that his kidneys and liver had shut down. He passed away peacefully, not in any apparent physical pain, surrounded by family and close friends.

Even though we have hope of resurrection because of what Christ accomplished, death’s sting is still bitter right now. We are grateful for the support of family and friends as we grieve together.

I have copied Joe’s obituary below.


Joseph McLean Hesh, 61, of Perkasie, PA, died on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at LifeQuest Nursing Center in Quakertown, PA, after a three-year battle with brain cancer.

He was the loving husband of Claudia (Wallies) Hesh for 40 years. Joe was born in Macomb, IL to the late William L. and Charlotte (McLean) Hesh. Joe will be greatly missed by his daughter, Corrie Giffone (Benjamin) of Telford; his grandchildren, Daniel and Elizabeth Giffone; his brother, Andy Hesh (Jeri) of Pekin, IL; and many beloved aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.

Joe was raised in Pekin, IL, and graduated from Pekin High School, Class of 1972. He then earned degrees from Illinois State University (B.S., Music Therapy, 1976) and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., Old Testament, 1981).

Joe served as youth pastor at Scofield Memorial Church in Dallas, TX, and then at Pulpit Rock Church in Colorado Springs, CO. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1995 to serve as Pastor of Arts and Worship at Calvary Church in Souderton, and later at Chelten Church in Dresher, retiring in 2015.

A professional musician from a very young age, Joe played classical and pop/jazz music on piano, guitar and clarinet. He was also a songwriter, composing and performing hundreds of original songs, and recording over a dozen albums. He performed at countless church services, retreats, mission trips, conferences, and concerts.

As a significant part of his vocation as a Christian minister, Joe embraced his calling to serve many young musicians and artists as both teacher and mentor. Formally, he served as adjunct music faculty at Cairn University (Langhorne, PA) and Immaculata University (Malvern, PA). He also taught private lessons in piano, guitar, and composition. In 2010, he founded a non-profit, Joe Hesh Ministries, Inc., with the mission of helping churches, worship leaders and artists in the establishment, development and growth of church worship ministries.

In the last few years of his career, Joe returned to his training in music therapy, researching the effects of music on the brain. He composed several albums of instrumental music informed by recent academic research on brain trauma, and his music is currently used in educational settings to aid students who have experienced significant trauma.

Relatives and friends may meet the family at Chelten Church, 1601 N. Limekiln Pike, Dresher, PA 19025, on Monday, March 21 from 5:00-7:00pm, or on Tuesday, March 22 from 1:00-3:00pm. A memorial service will be at 4:00pm on Tuesday, March 22, followed by a private reception.

Memorial contributions may be made to a project that was dear to Joe’s heart: the Music Therapy Program at Lakeside Educational Network. Checks may be made out to: Lakeside Educational Network (memo: “Music Therapy Program”), 240 New York Drive, Fort Washington, PA 19034.

Arrangements by: Anders-Detweiler Funeral Home & Crematory, 130 East Broad Street, Souderton, Pennsylvania 18964. To send online condolences to the family, visit

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, transplanted to Pennsylvania...lived and taught in Eastern Europe for six years…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth.
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4 Responses to JMH, 1954-2016

  1. g says:

    Condolences, Benjamin.

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