Mina Lake, SD-Mass of Christian Burial for Kathleen “Kay” M. Kessler will be 2:00 p.m. Monday, April 22, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Aberdeen with a reception following. The Rev. Mark Lichter will officiate. Burial in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery.
Visitation will begin at 6:00 p.m. Sunday with a liturgical wake, rosary and time of sharing at 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
Kathleen “Kay” M. Kessler, 92, of Mina Lake, SD passed away Sunday, April 14, 2019 at her home surrounded by her family after a long, full, and happy life.
Kathleen Marie Foran was born September 17, 1926, the second child of John and Margaret (Chappel) Foran in South Nyack, NY. The family later moved to Staten Island, NY, where Kathleen grew up, attending Catholic school. After high school, she held jobs as a teller at Chase Manhattan Bank and a runner at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
In 1948, she took a leave of absence from work and boarded a train to Aberdeen, SD to visit her sister, who was living with her husband and new baby above a small, family-run grocery store called, Kessler’s. As she left the apartment her first morning in town to pick up a loaf of bread, a young man named Bob rushed around from behind the meat counter to greet her and ask her on a date. They were married later that year; Kathleen, who then began going by Kay, never returned to New York from her trip to South Dakota.
Bob and Kay were blessed with six children, whom they raised in Aberdeen. Throughout their 63-year marriage, Bob and Kay enjoyed traveling the world together, making friends wherever they went. When not traveling, they spent time at their home in Aberdeen, summers at their cabin at Mina Lake, winters in St. James City, FL, and regular fishing trips to Akaska, SD.
Kay had a magnetic personality and enjoyed socializing and dancing. She had many friends in Aberdeen, Florida, and everywhere in between. She was known for hosting parties and social gatherings, finding great joy in good friends and lively conversation. She used any opportunity to socialize, and she spent her time playing golf, bowling, playing Bridge and other card games with friends. She also loved to brag about catching larger Walleye than Bob, though he rarely cared to admit this fact.
She delighted in being a grandmother and, even more so, a great-grandmother. She loved music and was always quick to whistle or sing a song for any occasion; her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have grown up listening to and memorizing her favorite songs.
She spent much of the last year of her life at her home at Mina Lake and spending time with family at Pickerel Lake, SD.
She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; her parents; and her older sister, Margaret “Peg” Rishworth and younger brother, Jack. She is survived by her six children, Ann McDonald of Pine Island, FL, Betty (Ed Koren) of Palm Springs, CA, Jolene Oakes of Brooklyn Park, MN, George (Mary Kay) Kessler of Mina, Tim (Amy) Kessler of Aberdeen, and Tom (Laura) Kessler of Mina; 17 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; and her sister-in-law Sr. Ann Kessler, O.S.B. of Yankton, SD.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations and memorials be made to Kay’s home parish, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Aberdeen, specifically for the stained-glass window restoration project and care of the cemetery: Sacred Heart Catholic Church 502 2nd Avenue SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401.
Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen has been entrusted with arrangements.