Albert "Ab" Julius Roesel Jr.

Born: Sun., Nov. 29, 1942
Died: Wed., Jul. 11, 2018


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Music by The Piano Brothers


 

Right this moment, there is a grand spaceship hurtling through the cosmos at 67,000 miles per hour as it makes its round-trip journey around a brilliant sun. As far as we know, in a sea of billions of stars, this ship we call earth is the only one hospitable to life. Today, there’s one less passenger on board and the vacancy is devastating.

Ab Roesel left this earth on Wednesday, July 11th, his passion for cycling carrying him literally until his very last breath. Even though he left physical earth, we take comfort in the knowledge that, during his 75 trips around the sun, he made it a better place to be. His footprint on our hearts is indestructible and eternal.

 

Albert Julius Roesel Jr., (Ab as he was known by loved ones) was born to parents, Albert and Tappy Roesel on November 29, 1942 in Wilmington, NC, while his father was stationed there during WWII.

 

The first of seven siblings, his early childhood was spent in Augusta and Savannah, GA. During high school the family relocated to Statesboro, GA. There, he finished high school and graduated from Georgia Southern College in 1967 with a Bachelors in Sociology and Psychology.

 

Just after graduation he married Mary Angela Punaro and soon was drafted. In Vietnam he served in the Army as a 134th Medevac Helicopter Pilot, earning a bronze star for meritorious achievement and rising to the rank of Captain.

 

His son and namesake, Bert, was born in 1973 and the family of three returned to Statesboro. He joined the family business, the H.A. Sack Company serving in multiple roles in until 1985. People often assumed Ab must be either a preacher or a teacher. He thought that might be sign so decided to turn his decades-long passion to become an educator into reality. He returned to Georgia Southern where he earned a Master of Mathematics Education. His love for education and aviation resulted in many years of private piloting and flight instruction.

 

Several years after his marriage to Mary Angela ended, he met his sweetheart, Cindy Kay Vann; the two rode to the marriage ceremony a tandem bicycle in 1992. In their many years together, they fought relentlessly for social justice and the environment. They played a pivotal role in stopping the expansion of coal fired power by the Snapping Shoals EMC and made an immeasurable positive impact in their community of Conyers, GA.

 

Ab championed the NAE teachers’ union, drove for Meals on Wheels and advocated for multiple environmental and social justice causes. He remained active in Unitarian Universalist and Humanist groups as well as the Statesboro and Conyers cycling clubs. He was a passionate writer, penning many thoughtful and inspiring letters to the editor.

 

Amidst all their activism Ab and Cindy continued to be cherished, devoted, loving family members who adored their large extended family, their children and grandchildren.

 

He had deep devotion for the study of math, history, and physics and he was a fierce advocate for science. He always asked questions and encouraged others to be inquisitive and to always question the status quo. He walked the walk of environmentalism and pushed every person around him to think deeply.

 

To say Ab loved bike riding wouldn’t do his passion justice. He was an avid cyclist and runner and competed in many races as well as the Georgia and National Senior Olympics. Cycling was a lifelong love that he always shared with friends and family. Often, it required a tandem or tagalong configuration for his companions to keep up with his pace, but good times and great conversation were guaranteed.

 

Ab is preceded in death by his parents Albert and Rosalyn (Tappy) Roesel. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 25 years Cindy Roesel, step daughter Crystal (Carl), granddaughters Megan, Nicole and Patricia and great grandchildren. He is also survived by his son Bert (Susanna), grandchildren Aurelia and AJ, his siblings, Richard (Dana), Chris (Connie), Rosalyn (Ron), Paul (Dee Ann), Philip (Karen) and Greg (Melissa) and numerous nieces, nephews and dear friends who he adored.  

 

In grief and joy, Ab would implore us to hold our heads high, go for a walk or a ride with someone you love, speak out for the earth and the marginalized among us, love one another and take care of the d*mn ship! C 

Services to celebrate Ab’s life include a short, intimate interment service for immediate family and cycling community at 1 p.m., July 21st in Conyers. Memorial services will be from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at First Existentialist in Atlanta, 470 Candler Park Drive NE., followed by a reception/life celebration at reserved meeting space at Manuel's Tavern, 602 N. Highland Avenue NE. Cut flowers may be brought to the graveside service and to the memorial service but please do not bring arrangements with non-biodegradable parts.

 

Please consider making donations to the ACLU of Georgia, Green Peace or the Sierra Club in his honor.

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Condolence Booklet

Shelia Rousseau
   Posted Mon July 16, 2018
My heartfelt condolences to the Roesel family for the loss of your loved one. May you find comfort in the promise of the resurrection, (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15) from Jehovah God (Psalms 83:18), and that he will strengthen you all to endure not only this trial but future ones as well. Keep in mind Isaiah 41:10 states: Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.

Wayne A. Krissinger
   Posted Wed July 18, 2018
Cindy, when first heard of Ab's passing I was deeply saddened. Then so many good, kind and funny remembers came flowing in to my mind, about events that have occurred during the fifty plus years I have know Ab and the Roesel family. I believe and have observed, when a person departs from this earth they never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. I extend my most sincere condolences to you and all the Roesel family.

Wayne A. Krissinger
wakriss@nctv.com

Harry Simpson
   Posted Sat July 28, 2018
Rest Ab, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.

Thank you for your service to this nation.

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