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Helen (Durkee) Kessler

November 15, 1927 ~ May 24, 2018 (age 90)

Helen M. Kessler

Age 90 of Coal City, passed away Thursday morning, May 24, 2018 at her home.

Born November 15, 1927 in Morris, Illinois, Helen Marjorie was a daughter of George Ernest and Helen Mae (Broderick) Durkee. She was raised in Morris, and graduated from St. Angela Academy in 1945. On June 12, 1948, Helen married Marvin Henry Kessler in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Morris, and together they made their home and raised their family in Coal City.

Helen was a member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church in Coal City, where she also worked in the Parish office for several years; she enjoyed art classes and painting at Joliet Junior College and she was a member of the Morris Artist Guild. In addition to her love of art and painting, Helen took pleasure in working puzzles, reading, dancing and traveling. She will be remembered as a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother who enjoyed spending time with family.

Survivors include five children: Ronald (Kathy) Kessler and Patricia Wharrie, both of Coal City, Carol (Terry) Wills of Carbon Hill, and Mike Kessler and Cathy Schachtschneider both of Coal City; nine grandchildren: Carla (David) Thompson and Stephanie Kessler, both of Coal City, Joseph (Amy) Kessler of Ohio, Ann (Michael) Ryan of Diamond, Ellen (Corey) Kendrick of Michigan, Carrie Onsen of Diamond, Kristin Wills of Coal City,  Kyle (Lisa) Schachtschneider of Chicago and Timothy Schachtschneider of Bloomington, Illinois; (12) great grandchildren: Leanna, Abbey, Millie, James, Carson, Helen, Meghan, Will, Isabelle, Louden, Ellis, and Arlo; three sisters-in-law, Mary Durkee of California, Alberta Durkee of Vancouver, Washington, and Donna Durkee of Ottawa, and one brother-in-law, Richard Blaskie of Channahon, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; husband Marvin (October 4, 2017); son-in-law, William Wharrie; (8) brothers: Edward, William, Robert, Donald, George Jr., Erwin, James and John, and one sister, Dorothy Blaskie.

The family will receive friends for a visitation at Reeves Funeral Home, 75 North Broadway (one block north of Illinois Route 113) in Coal City on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. 

Funeral services will follow in Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, 215 S. Kankakee Street in Coal City at 11:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Reverend Robert Noesen officiating.

Burial will be in Braceville-Gardner Cemetery, where Helen will be laid to rest with her late husband Marvin.

Helen’s grandchildren will act as pallbearers and honorary pallbearers.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Helen’s memory to Assumption Catholic Church Building Fund or to Joliet Area Community Hospice.

Family and friends may sign the guest book, upload photographs or share Helen’s memorial page online by logging onto:

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd. in Coal City. (815-634-2125)

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