Frederick Stanislaus Kessler
April 17, 1942 – December 23, 2015
Frederick Stanislaus Kessler of Wilmington, Delaware passed peacefully on December 23, 2015 surrounded by loved ones. He prized and cherished 73 years of life. Vibrant and debonair, he was both a proud man, and a man to be proud of. He embodied a zest for life, with tremendous vivacity and humor.
Fred was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and graduated from Salesianum School in 1960. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware in 1971 and was awarded his Juris Doctor degree from Widener University of School of Law in 1975. A U.S. Army veteran and first Lieutenant, Fred bravely served his country during the Vietnam War.
An accomplished attorney, Fred worked intensely and with integrity. He worked with the Community Legal Aid Society, a non-profit law firm dedicated to equal justice for all, and the Wilmington Housing Authority to ensure safe and affordable housing for low-income families. He served as attorney for industry leaders, Associates International, until his retirement in 1996.
An avid reader, Fred enjoyed traveling, and film. He loved and was drawn to the teachings, wisdom, and simple beauties of life in Native American culture. He is lovingly remembered with this Pueblo Indian verse:
Hold on to what is good, even if it’s a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe, even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do, even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold on to my hand, even if I’ve gone away from you.
Fred was a devoted father, loving brother and uncle. He is predeceased by his parents William Kessler and Emily Muskas, and his sister Irene Skillman. Fred is survived and loved deeply by his sons, Jeffrey Kessler (Rose) of Swedesboro, NJ and Kyle Kessler of Santa Barbara, CA; brother, John Kessler (Pam) of Cartwright, OK; sister, Tina Subolesfsky of Elkton, MD; former spouses, Mary Beth Kessler and Marsha Kramarck; nieces, Roxanne Roberts, Jennifer Owen, Christina Kessler, Ariel and Alyssa Subolefsky, and Ashley Feldman; great nieces, Brooke Thompson and Taylor Kernodle.
Celebrate Fred and contemplate all that he loved, what we learned, and what has been passed on to us. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 12 Noon on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at St. John the Baptist R.C. Church, East Main and North Chapel Streets, Newark, DE, where a visitation for family and friends will be held from 11 am until 12 Noon. Interment will follow in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Fred’s memory may be made to the Native American Heritage Association, PO Box 512, Rapid City, SD 57709 or by visiting: