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Posted on September 15, 2014 | 10:27 a.m.

Henry Kessler of Goleta, 1916-2014

Source: Julie Kessler Solomon

Henry Kessler
Henry Kessler

After a brief illness, Henry Kessler, 97, passed away peacefully Sept. 4, 2014, at home in Goleta surrounded by his loving family.

He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Frances Anna (Franki), and son, Jared Daniel. He leaves behind daughters Margaret Susan Kessler of Lafayette Colo., Julie Kessler Solomon (Steven Solomon) of Goleta, and stepson Anthony I (Tony) Mindlin (Mary Tower) of Santa Monica, Calif. He will be missed by grandchildren Clea Westphal of Boulder, Colo., Joshua Solomon of Los Angeles and Daniel Solomon of Goleta, several great-grandchildren and by many loving nephews and nieces, including Mady Julian of Studio City, Michele and David Em of Westwood Village, Stephen Kessler (Daniela) of Santa Cruz, Judy Kessler of West Hollywood, Pat and Rick Kessler of Westlake Village, Leida and Michael Sanders of Bellevue, Wash., Mimi and Henry Warshaw of New York City, and Bruce and Joanie Kessler of Marina Del Rey. He treasured his close relationship with cousins Shelby and Linda Silverman of Tuscon, Ariz.

Henry was born Oct. 12, 1916, in Portland, Ore., to Sanek (Sam) Kessler and Tema Cooperman. He and his siblings, Jack, Doree and Harry (Ackie), were first-generation Americans. In Henry’s youth, the family faced daunting difficulties, but it was held together by oldest brother Jack.

Henry attended the University of Washington, where he became editor of the newspaper and a Rhodes Scholar candidate. Like many of his generation, Henry was forced to leave college before finishing, but many years later, under a program devised by Gov. Edmund Brown Jr., he was able to complete his bachelor's degree at UCLA by attending classes at night after working all day as an executive in the garment industry.

Henry was a lifelong learner and autodidact. He was passionate about world affairs and read both the Los Angeles Times and New York Times daily. A dedicated Dodgers fan, he has had the satisfaction of watching the boys in blue put together a winning record so far this season. Go Dodgers!

Henry and Franki enjoyed traveling the world. They enjoyed Latin America in particular, where they had many friends. They visited Cuba and Russia soon after those countries were opened to travelers from the West. They loved riding bikes around the LA and Ventura County bike paths and continued to do so well into their 80s.

Henry was a true gentleman, kindhearted, warm and friendly to all who had the good fortune to come to know him. The family thanks Drs. Birken, Boyatt and Kupperman for their highly personal care and VNA Hospice for helping dad with the dignified, peaceful departure he specifically wanted.

Donations to the environmental organization of your choice or VNA of Santa Barbara.


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