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Obituary: John R. Kessler, Columbus

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John R. Kessler, 75, of Beech Drive, died at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, June 15, 2014, at Our Hospice of South Central Indiana Inpatient Facility.

John was born February 20, 1939, in Evansville, Indiana, the son of Russell E. and Nadene Taylor Kessler. He married Nancy Phillips September 1, 1963.

He graduated from Tell City High School, attended Indiana University, then transferred to Indiana State University in Terre Haute where he completed his education in 1963.

John always taught in high school science departments, beginning his career at Tell City High School for two years then teaching at Miami Norland High School in Miami, Florida, for eight years. The remainder of his teaching career was at Columbus East High School, where he taught until retirement.

After retirement, he re-entered teaching at Columbus North High School and Hope Elementary School, as well as at Ivy Tech campuses in North Vernon and Columbus.

John was a high school sports athletic coach for 50 years, coaching at Columbus East, Columbus North and Hauser high schools. He had been an assistant football coach at East, an assistant boys and girls basketball coach at both East and Hauser, assistant wrestling coach at East, assistant gymnastics coach at East, assistant and head boys and girls tennis coach at East, track hurdle coach at Columbus East, and diving coach at both Columbus East and North high schools.

A member of First United Methodist Church, he loved gardening and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A celebration of John's life will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Chris Lance, Rev. Tony McClendon and Rev. David Burnett officiating. Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. until service time and again after the celebration in the church basement.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Columbus East Track Team, Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, Mill Race Center, or a charity of your choice.

John is survived by his wife; a son, Todd A. (Sharon) Kessler of Taylorsville; a daughter, Angela L. (Greg) Potts of Hope; a brother, Alan (Donna) Kessler of Tell City; grandchildren, Megan (Robbie) Sessions, Anna Land, Zachary Land, Stacy Land, Trevor Potts, Adam Kessler, Tyler Kessler, Trace Kessler, Christian Kessler, and Ella Grace Kessler; and great-grandchildren, Rylan Sessions, Rebeckah Sessions, Brody Sessions and Noah Shipley.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Arrangements were entrusted to Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home.

You are invited to view his video tribute after 2:00 p.m. Saturday, light a virtual candle and send a message to the family via the Internet.

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