Bill Kessler

Bill Kessler

OSWEGO — Bill Kessler passed away Nov. 4, 2019 at the age of 88. 

Bill was born on Aug. 1, 1931 in Oswego, New York.  He was predeceased by his parents Jay and Cherie Kessler, brother John Kessler, and most recently his wife, of 63 years, Betty. 

 He is survived by daughters, Cherie Kessler of Clearwater, Florida; Gigi (Gary) Cutler of Powell Butte, Oregon; and Barbara (Gordon) Dunn of Decatur, Alabama; his son, Andy (LoriAnn) Kessler of Rochester, New York; sister-in-law Mary Rita Kessler; four nephews; and 12 grandchildren, Leanna, Maria, Sam, Joseph, Wil, Jackson, Jennifer, Mathew, Lauren, Alicia, Livia and Andrew. 

Bill was raised in Oswego and graduated from Hobart College of Geneva, New York, in 1953 then en-listed in the United States Navy.  Bill gave 3+ years of service in the Navy, with a final assignment in Washington DC. 

While in the DC area, Bill met and married Elizabeth Watkins from Virginia in 1956. Shortly thereafter they moved back to New York, settling in Orchard Park where they started a family.  After losing both parents in 1962, Bill and Betty, along with their two daughters, moved back to Oswego to live in the house where he grew up and eventually had another daughter and son. After a few jobs in sales, Bill started his own business, Information Products Company in the Syracuse area, designing and selling business forms.

Having been an outdoorsman in his younger years, working on farms, earning an Eagle Scout badge, and many camping adventures, Bill began to share his love of the outdoors with his family. This involved annual camping trips to the Adirondacks, fishing, and vegetable gardens. One of Bill’s favorite outdoor activities was fly fishing the many rivers and streams across New York.  

Later on Bill began to sing in the church choir at the Church of the Resurrection in Oswego.  Singing quickly became a new love and he went on to join many groups; including New Horizons Chorus, Oswego Festival chorus (at SUNY Oswego), and Oswego Opera Theater where he was able to use his childhood acting skills as a pirate in a production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.  He was also a long-standing member of the Oswego YMCA and The Heritage Foundation.

After a fulfilling career as a small business owner, he began to scale that back and travel outside of New York, with numerous trips to Europe; such as Italy, Ireland, England, and Scotland. They also toured Alaska and Western Canada to see nature in all its glory.  When traveling the world became too much, Bill and Betty parked the Jayco trailer at Suttercreek campground in Sterling, New York, and established their summer vacation spot alongside Sterling Creek. They most recently resided at Springside at Seneca Hill.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at The Church of the Resurrection, 120 West Fifth St.  

A private burial will take place in Riverside Cemetery.

Arrangements are in care of Nelson Funeral Home.