Max E. Tessmer, 85, Fowler
Friday, February 15, 2013 - 1:08 pm

Max E. Tessmer, 85, Fowler, passed away Thursday, Feb. 14 at his home.

Calling hours will be Sunday, Feb. 17 from 2 to 5 p.m. at French Funeral Home, Gouverneur.

A celebration of life will be Monday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Gouverneur First Presbyterian Church with Richard Mayforth officiating.

Online condolences may be sent to

Max was born Sept. 26, 1927 in Ironwood, MI to the late Max A. and Ruth V. (VanAlstine) Tessmer.

He graduated from Gouverneur Central School and then entered into the United States Navy where he served from 1945 until 1946. While he was in the service he attended Darmouth College.

Max married Vivian E. Orford Dec. 31, 1954 at the Gouverneur First Presbyterian Church.

He and his wife owned and operated Tessacres Farms for over 50 years.

Max was also Chairman of the Board of Assessors in the Town of Fowler for 54 years, retiring Dec. 31, 2011. He was recognized by the St. Lawrence County Assessors Association for 50 years of service, after which he served for four more years in the Town of Fowler.

He previously was a welder at Wendell Jones Black Smith Shop and as a welder and backhoe operator for Ritchie Bros.

Max was a former member of the Holstein Friesian Association; St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau, where he received the NYS Service award on two occasions; Northern, Northco and Allied Milk Co-op Boards; Past member of the Regional Cooperative Marketing Association; Past member of the American Dairy Association; a 4-H Leader; a member of the Gouverneur Masonic Lodge #217 and is currently a member of the Gouverneur First Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder for many years.

As chairman of the Presbyterian Church pipe organ restoration committee, he was instrumental in getting the organ restored.

Max was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He took pride in his family.

He excelled as a mechanic and a welder. He loved working the farm, working on equipment, traveling, reading, listening to music, playing cards and fishing.

Surviving is his wife, Vivian of Fowler; a son and daughter-in-law, Max A. and Jacqueline of Fowler; four daughters and a son-in-law, Bethany Northrop of Watertown, Cynthia and Bob Angyal of Stone Ridge, Belinda Tessmer of Cicero, and Melissa Tessmer of Orlando, FL; a brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Mary Tessmer of Gouverneur; a sister, Donna Burchett of Warren, NJ; 13 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Max is predeceased by his sister Franchieu Ritchie.

Donations may be made in Max’s memory to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018 or to First Presbyterian Church, 22 Church St., Gouverneur, NY 13642.