Harold R. Kesler

Harold Reinhardt Kesler, 90, Appleton, peacefully passed away on May 13, 2018. He was born on July 17, 1927, in Marshfield to the late Harry and Agnes (Smudde) Kesler. His wife, Mary Ellen Kesler, preceded him in death on Nov. 20, 2017.

Hal was blessed with a full and interesting life. Born an identical twin, he and his twin, Herb, enjoyed many of the various antics that only twins can create throughout their childhood and into their adult years. Hal always enjoyed telling stories of his and Herb’s work on the extended families’ farms in Colby, their years of service in the U.S. Navy as well as fraternity life at St. Norbert’s College where he received a Bachelor of Science in physics.

Hal met his beloved wife, Mary, at 22 and married a year later on Dec. 26, 1950. Hal and Mary had seven children over the next 12 years. Hal’s extensive 30-year career at IBM moved the family seven times around the Midwest. Each move represented career advancements as well as the creation of lifelong friendships. After retiring from IBM and purchasing a winter home in Carefree, Arizona, Hal started a second career volunteering for AARP. He began preparing tax returns and retired a second time 20 years later as the southwestern United States regional coordinator. Regardless of where they lived, Hal and Mary always returned to their cottage of 52 years at Shawano Lake for the summers. The cottage went through multiple renovations, and Hal was quite adept at all aspects of home improvement and construction. When not remodeling the cottage or helping out one of his children or neighbors, entertaining family and friends was one of Hal’s greatest pleasures, especially when it was out on the porch of the cottage. Hal most loved spending time with his family of 14 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, the extended family of Herb and Anne Kesler and many loved nieces and nephews.

Throughout his life, he remained a devoted Catholic, enjoyed attending Mass and serving on multiple church committees.

He is survived by his son, Charlie (Judy) Kesler; daughters, Kay (Fred) Prassas, Barbara (Rick) Ausick, Connie (Jim) Zornow, Margaret (David) Depew, Suzanne (John) Vigeland; 14 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sisters, Eileen Phelan, Vivian Peterson, Sister Marilyn Kesler, SSND, Carole Phillips, Harriet Kesler and Karlene Kesler; and many extended family members and friends of Hal and Mary.

Harold was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary Ellen Kesler; daughter, Virginia; brother, Vernon (killed in the Korean War); and cherished identical twin, Herbert.

Family and friends may visit at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 1617 W. Pine St., Appleton, on Friday, May 18, 2018, from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Dennis Ryan officiating. Cotter Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.cotterfuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Bernard Church in Appleton.

Our family would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the loving staff of both the Memory Care Unit at Touchmark and ThedaCare Hospice in Appleton.