Celebrating life stories...



Memorial created 01-15-2008 by
Howard Yellen
Thor David Hesla
April 1 1962 - January 14 2008

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01-16-2008 11:57 AM -- By: Joel Rivlin,  From: Madison, WI  

Thor was just the best boss I've ever had. I've never met anyone better able to motivate those around, simply by leading by example -- no task and no body was beneath Thor and his energy and commitment to everything he did was contagious.

For the weeks he led the Gash campaign he was a the ideal mentor a kid straight out of college could have.

He'll be sorely missed.

01-16-2008 11:43 AM -- By: Besa Kabashi Ramaj,  From: Kosova  

" I heard tremendous stories about him, and was able to believe them only by meeting him. It was an honor to have met somone like Thor, someone that very abviously has left a whole legacy of his own for all of us to remember."

01-16-2008 11:38 AM -- By: Andrew Frank,  From: New York  

We all need to realize how precious life is each and every day. Whether we walk the streets and see those less fortunate than ourselves; watch a sad story unfold on the television about a worker who falls to his death from a building that will cost more than a million dollars to live in two rooms; see a story on the news about a far off land that includes bloodshed, famine or disease. Seven years after 9/11, living only 6 blocks away from the tragedy and mayhem that took place that day, i hear and see the construction of a revitalized city. This gives me hope and resolve - something that Thor always exhibited. Thor was a special person who had that infectous smile and personality - someone who always made his presence felt. Whether it was going to trouble spots around the world or working on campaigns, he lived a life of freedom - and promoted it. Today I look at my children and think how to shield them from the horrors of the world, yet i also think how to educate them for the better as they grow up. I think of my friend in Kabul and hope he did not see it coming. I hope, like he did, for change - that the world can be a different place. i am saddened today by what i have read and by what i know. We have lost someone special. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

01-16-2008 11:25 AM -- By: Kitty Kurth,  From: Chicago, IL  

I always wanted Thor on my team no matter what the game. A brilliant campaigner, most excellent writer, and a fabulous companion for a cold beverage. My heart is breaking for Maren, Bernard, and the children.

Fondest memories, Kitty Kurth

01-16-2008 11:12 AM -- By: Neil Oxman,  From: Philadelphia  

Thor was the only Renaissance man his age left in America. His was a life unbelievably well lived.

01-16-2008 11:07 AM -- By: Erika Bailey,  From:  

2002 Congressional Race -- A good guy. God rest his soul.

01-16-2008 11:06 AM -- By: Donna Green,  From: Washington DC  

The meaning of life is to give life meaning. Thor did that with great abandon and brought us all along for the ride. And what a ride it’s been.

My most sincere condolences go out to Maren, Bernard, Olivia, David and the rest of Thor's family.

01-16-2008 11:02 AM -- By: Carolyn Serra,  From: Atlanta - APOC  

I had the privilege of working with Thor prior to and during the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games. He was always so upbeat and fun! I am saddened to hear of his loss. Thor touched everyone he met and has sure left his mark during his way to short time with us. My blessings and sympathy go out to his friends and family. God bless!

01-16-2008 10:39 AM -- By: Redmond Walsh,  From: Washington, DC  

Dear family and friends of Thor,

I am so sorry to hear this news of Thor. I got to know Thor in the early 90's through the Democratic Convention, PIC and Michael Pitts. I hadn't seen him in years, but am so glad to read all this and see he was still out there making a difference and living a life of adventure and making a difference in the world.

01-16-2008 10:35 AM -- By: Mitch Polman,  From: Washington, DC  

I didn't know Thor as well as most others on here, but I certainly had my Thor experiences on campaigns and during the Clinton inaugural. He was certainly always an entertaining person to have a beer with.

The last time I saw him was an oddly telling experience. Some years back I bumped into him on 18th Street in Adams-Morgan. I hadn't seen him in a while and I stopped to say hello. I realized a little too late that I had awkwardly stepped into the middle of an argument he was having with a girl. He still smiled at me and said "hey Mitch!" and shook my hand. I then sheepishly extricated myself. At the same time I was thinking that it was amusing that Thor actually not only recalled who I was, but was greeting me and all at what was certainly a very bad time.

I had noticed online last summer that he had worked in Kosovo, which I have an interest in. I had planned on getting back in touch with him, but other things came-up and I never did. I'm quite sorry now that I didn't.

01-16-2008 10:21 AM -- By: David Gilliam,  From: Los Lunas, New Mexico  

My acceptance sincere for his untimely passing. I will pray for him and his family in their time of sorrow.

Dave Gilliam CPT

01-16-2008 10:09 AM -- By: Marc Nadel,  From: Atlanta  

What a shock, the world has a lost a great guy! I first met Thor while working for the Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee. Thor made an indelible impression, he was funny, a real deep thinker and expressed passion in what he did. We look back now and it was an honor and pleasure to have worked with him. He was a true gentlemen and the kind of guy you can always count on...a real mensch. You will be missed!

01-16-2008 10:05 AM -- By: Jenn (Connell) Kramer,  From: Hoboken, NJ  

Thor was a one-of-a-kind, and will be missed.

01-16-2008 10:04 AM -- By: Drew Bartlett,  From:  

What a wonderfully entertaining person. I remember him well from my childhood and loved conversing with him in adulthood.

01-16-2008 10:01 AM -- By: Brandon Thomas,  From:  

Almost 12,000 people have viewed this memorial already so I know I am not alone in my memories of random post-event drinking festivities. You are missed.

01-16-2008 9:49 AM -- By: Caroline Silfverstolpe,  From: Sweden  

I knew Thor from working in the EU Pillar of UNMIK in Kosovo in 2003/4. He was then with the KTA doing media work on privatisation. I will always remember him as a great, positive and supportive colleague. Despite the bureaucracy and red tape surrounding our work and the heavy media criticism we came under, he was always smiling, and his happy presence was always noted.

The death of Thor is a great, great tragedy indeed and my thoughts go to his family, friends and loved ones.

- Caroline

01-16-2008 9:46 AM -- By: Bill Pruett,  From: Atlanta  

Thor was one of a kind. I'm a conservative and Thor was a passionate liberal, but I loved and respected him for his dedication. He will be sorely missed by many, many people.

01-16-2008 9:21 AM -- By: Sami Sinclair,  From: Bradley for President  

After spending a few months living with Thor in various hotels on the Bradley campaign, I knew he was the kind of person you wanted to stay connected to. He was the person you could use to share stories with your normal (read: non-campaign) friends about campaign life. “I have this cool friend who is doing this amazing thing in this faraway place.” And they would respond, “People really do that?” And you could say, “Yes, like my friend, Thor.” This was usually followed by, “You actually know someone named Thor?!”

And even though we hadn’t seen each other in a few years, I always thought he was the kind of person you would meet for drink every 3-5 years, when he was in or near your time zone, and you would hear some new hilarious story from his most recent adventure…

This just sucks.

01-16-2008 9:19 AM -- By: Corey-Jan Albert,  From: Roswell, GA  

I just saw this morning’s paper and was horrified to discover that my college friend, Thor, is gone – and gone in such a horrifically violent way. Clearly, though, Thor would want the funniest, craziest, raunchiest stories about him told and shared, preferably with alcohol. It’s a little early in the day for the drinking and I don’t really have anything seriously raunchy – but I can share a story.

Thor and I dated very briefly during (I think) my junior year at Emory. At the time, he was also seeing my friend, Terry (Cathy Sabonis-Bradley’s sister, mentioned in her remembrance). Now, the thing to understand here is that neither Terry nor I had much of a problem with this at the time – I don’t think either of us saw our relationship with Thor as a long-term, serious thing. But we did think it was funny that he seemed to work so hard to keep each of us from knowing about the other. We thought it was even funnier to discover that he was using the same lines on both of us. We decided to turn the tables on him and see what would happen if we said identical phrases when each of us was alone with him. Thor, being the quick-witted guy that he was, figured out that something was up, but he wasn’t completely sure what it was. I think his word at the time was “confuzzled.” When everything finally became clear to him, Thor responded with something like, “Wait a minute. You both KNOW – and you’re OKAY with that?” I’m sure he briefly envisioned the possibility of something very kinky – but no. The romances weren’t really ever destined to last, but I always thought of Thor as my friend, happy on the occasions when we would run into each other.

The world is out one uniquely spirited, very bright, light-hearted soul – and we are all the poorer for it.

01-16-2008 9:17 AM -- By: Linda Ohman,  From: Sweden  

Thor and I had an annual meeting at the vienna airport coming back from christmas vacations in the us, heading back to kosovo, spending several hours in the starbucks.

i was shocked to hear about this...

01-16-2008 9:05 AM -- By: Lisa Overbeek,  From: Arlington VA  

So sorry to here about the loss of Thor. He was the beloved brother and uncle of our friends Maren, Bernard, Olivia and David. Our thought are with all of his extened family.

01-16-2008 8:58 AM -- By: Don Paul,  From:  

I was fortunate to get to know Thor through my daughter, Stephanie Doscher. He struck me as a gentle, loving man who cared about others, wanting to make a difference and loving life.

01-16-2008 8:57 AM -- By: Brian Craig,  From: Brooklyn, NY  

I met Thor only a few times while at Emory (he graduated several years before me), but I did butt heads with him. He was the kind of guy that you never forget. I am very saddened to hear of his death.

01-16-2008 8:55 AM -- By: Arlene,  From: Florida  

I did not know Thor but a good friend of mine did and I would like to express my condolences to his family and friends. My prayers are with you all.

Love, Peace, and Blessings!

01-16-2008 8:53 AM -- By: Bill Sanford,  From: Atlanta  

My memories of Thor are from when he babysat my sister and I during the summers when Mom and Dad were working. Thor was passionate about the game of Monopoly. We played for hours on end. Thor and I weren't close by any stretch except that our families were close and there was always the chance we would get to see him at Aunt Margaret's house for Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. I will miss his perspective. When I heard the news all I could say was..

Uff Da.

01-16-2008 8:20 AM -- By: Sarah Bichon,  From: Columbus, Ohio  

I only met Thor one time. He met my sister and I out for drinks when I was visiting D.C. Like others have said, I knew he was a good guy within minutes. He was funny and kind. I know he will be missed by many and my heart goes out to all his friends and family.

01-16-2008 8:17 AM -- By: Samantha,  From: Washington, DC  

Every time it snows and I rent a car, I think of Thor in the Des Moines Bradley office lecturing me/us about not losing cars in snowdrifts. The moral of the story was that we could not afford to lose cars out of the "fleet" as they wouldn't be found until spring, or even summer, in Des Moines. He swore he'd seen it happen before.

I can't believe that I'll never run into him randomly at Biddy's again and receive a huge, all encompassing hug.

My thoughts are with his family. Samantha

01-16-2008 8:17 AM -- By: Leah April,  From: Afghanistan  

I only knew Thor for 3 months-we were colleagues in Kabul. We are all devastated by his tragic and senseless death.

Although he hadnt been with us for so long he'd made a great impression on us all with his enthusiasm; creativity; hard working attitude and fun loving and joking nature. We miss you Thor!

01-16-2008 8:07 AM -- By: Paula du Feu,  From: Miami  

I never met Thor, but I know how happy he made Stephanie. What a tragedy for her.

01-16-2008 8:02 AM -- By: Helene Paul,  From: Miami, Fla.Thor  

Thor was a sweet, loving man who was part of my family for a wonderful and memorable time. My daughter Stephanie and our family will hold him in our hearts forever.


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