We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Nieburg-Vitt, Miller Funeral Home
Wilfred “Willie” Harry Kessler Sr., 90, of Villa Ridge, MO passed away on June 15, 2022. He was born on January 17, 1932 in St. Louis to Harry Kessler and Elizabeth “Lilly” nee Poepper. He received his education from McBride High School, class of 1950 where he enjoyed bowling classes and continued to bowl on a league for many years.
Corporal Kessler served as an infantryman in the 8th Cavalry Regiment during the Korean War, where he received a National Defense Service Medal for good conduct. He carried his camera with him always and was able to document so much while he was overseas.
On February 11, 1956, he was united in marriage to Georgia Frances Shadley at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Lemay. Music became a passion for him. He played the accordion in a popular local band on the weekends. His family remembers how talented he was and always requested he play some tunes for us on holidays.
Willie was a generous provider and an extremely hard worker. He was a proud member of the Sheet Metal Local 36 where he worked as a sheet metal fabricator until his retirement in 1994.
After retirement he spent many cold days outside working as a Bell Ringer for the Salvation Army. He achieved record status for raising the most money on average many seasons proving his dedication and holiday spirit.
He was a devout Catholic, a parishioner of St. John’s Gildehaus since 1979 where he volunteered many years as an usher at mass and dried many, many dishes at the annual sausage and chicken dinners.
The love he had for his family was astounding. Being an only child he always wanted to have a big family. He was a very passionate and emotional man, a great friend. He loved fresh flowers, the color red and Cardinals baseball. One of his biggest loves was dessert, anything sweet but ice cream and chocolate were his favorites.
Willie collected many things that he enjoyed, especially trains, cars and trucks. He was a perfectionist in all that he accomplished. A beautifully manicured yard, a bountiful tomato garden and kept a shiny, waxed riding lawn mower.
The strength that he maintained the last few years of his life kept his family amazed and proud of the stubborn man that we love very, very, very, very much…..forever and ever and ever.
He was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Georgia Kessler.
Among his survivors are five children, Colleen Kessler of Villa Ridge, Wilfred Kessler Jr. and wife Jackie of Affton, Kathleen Harris and husband Paul of Innsbrook, Joseph Kessler and wife Billee of Washington, and Christina Bougeno and husband Rob of Warrenton; grandchildren, Stephanie Devoti, Jamie Kessler, Nick Kessler, Josh Harris, Megan Harris, Joey Kessler, Justin Kessler, and Robby Bougeno; great-grandchildren, Luca Devoti, Roma Devoti, Joshua Harris, Paulie Harris, Kayla Harris, Mikki Harris, Gabby Harris, Khia Kessler, Lilly Kessler, and Justy Kessler.
A visitation will be held on Thursday June 23rd, 2022 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Nieburg-Vitt, Miller Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, June 24, 2022 at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Gildehaus Church. Interment with full military honors will be at the church cemetery. Memorials to Aging Ahead, Salvation Army, or St. John’s Gildehaus Church are preferred.