Theodore J. Kessler, 91, of Whiting, Manchester, died Friday, September 18, 2020, at The Pines at Whiting. Born July 26, 1929 in Jersey City, NJ, he was the youngest son of Polish immigrants Stanislaw and Johana (Kosiewicz) Kessler. He was raised and educated in Jersey City NJ, graduated Lincoln High School and enrolled in United States Navy at age 17. He was predeceased 15 days by his loving wife and “True Love” of 63 years, Frances (Warzocha) Kessler. He is also predeceased by his brothers John Kessler and Anthony Kessler and sisters, Pauline Kessler, Josephine Hicko and Mary Vaughan. He leaves to cherish his memory daughters, Teresa Kessler and Andrea Chase; grandchildren, Justin (Julie) Fiveson, great grandsons, Damian Brooklyn Fiveson and Gunnar James Fiveson, Grandsons, Zachary Chase, Jordan Chase, and Isaac Chase; Nephew, Lawrence (Ticia) Kervel, Niece, Roberta Rodrigues, Nephew, James (Donna ) Vaughan, nieces, Diane (Ray) Monaco and niece, Laureen (John) Slotw , and much loved grand nieces and nephews.
He proudly served his country as E - 6 (TD1) for twenty years. At his passing he was only one of two servicemen alive with this designation. Upon his retirement he was the owner of the Blue Anchor Motel in Brunswick, ME until relocating to Westchester County, N Y in 1976. He returned to secondary school at the Southern Maine Vocational Technical College where he studied hotel /restaurant management and culinary arts. He had taken a love of grilling and cooking and turned it into his second career. He was employed as a private chef in the hospitality industry and the highlight of his career was cooking for President Ford and his wife while in service with Frank and Kathy Lee Gifford.
He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus, and past President and Trip Coordinator of the Polish Club in Ocean County until he stepped down as President 5 years ago . He and his wife also greatly loved to attend the monthly Senior Alliance Luncheons in Forked River, NJ.
There was nothing that he could not build, fix or improve upon. He had a lifelong love of woodworking which he inherited from his father. He had a passion for trains and designed and built one of the most creative and large train sets seen, it took up a whole room! He loved traveling and had many fond memories of day trips with his wife to Atlantic City, the boardwalk and casinos, where they loved the cappuccinos! He was a sailor through and through and spent many summers days boating on Barnegat Bay on the Sea Witch.
He was a communicant of St. Pius X RC Church in Forked River, NJ where he served as an Usher for many years. A combined Mass of Christian Burial will be held for both he and his wife, Frances Kessler on Wednesday, September 23, 2030 at 10:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in their memory be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, 611 Granite Springs Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598.
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