Elwin Kessler Sr.

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 11, 2009

Elwin D. Kessler Sr.
SMITHFIELD—Master Trooper Elwin Dennis Kessler Sr. (Virginia State Police Retired), age 61, passed away July 3, 2009, from pancreatic cancer. His wife Pat and daughter were by his side.
Born in Farmville, he was raised in Crewe, Mr. Kessler graduated from Prince Edward Academy and obtained his Associates Degree in Police Science from Paul D. Camp Community College in 1980. He served four years in the United States Coast Guard, and was a 27 year veteran of the Virginia State Police, retiring in March, 2003, as Master Trooper. Mr. Kessler called Isle of Wight County home for the past 35 years.
He was a substitute teacher for the Isle of Wight School System during his first years in the area. In his retirement, he worked part-time at NAPA, Smithfield Auto Parts, delivering parts to stores around Isle of Wight. Mr. Kessler loved his part-time job which kept him in contact with the public and enjoyed the people he worked with.
He had a friendly, outgoing personality and was known for his professionalism and fairness during his State Police career. He told Pat not to tell everyone that at home he was really a “teddy bear.” However, most people already knew he was a kind person who loved people and was willing to help anyone in any way he could. Mr. Kessler was a member of Uzzell United Methodist Church and American Legion, George Dashiell Post 49 in Smithfield where he rose to the position of Fourth District Commander.
Mr. Kessler was predeceased by his father, Hans Kessler; and brother, Wayland Kessler.
He is survived by his first wife, Nancy Hancock Baygents of Mississippi, and his wife of 21 years, Patricia “Pat” Mouring Kessler; sons, Elwin Dennis “Dennie” Kessler Jr. and Dale Shenk (Tammy) of Smithfield and Mark Shenk (Brenda) of Surry; daughter, Cindy Franklin (Cary) of Williamsburg; five grandchildren, Lavinia Fosse, Joseph “Joey” Shenk, Cary “CJ” Franklin Jr., Clint Franklin, Michael Shenk; sister, Eraina Lacks (Billy) of Richmond; his 85 year old mother, Bessie Kessler of Holly Manor, Farmville; sister-in-law, Susan Amburn Kessler of Burkeville; brothers-in-law, John Mouring (Betsy) of Newport News, Brad Mouring (June) of Hampton and Barry Mouring (Ludie) of Carrollton; and his beloved pet, Erika, a 2 ½ year old Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle) who literally stayed by his side during his illness.
Mr. Kessler will truly be missed by his family and friends who loved and respected him. A special thank you to all of his many friends for their love, support and prayers during his illness.
Donations in his memory may be made to Uzzell United Methodist Church, C/O Rev. Tommy Reynolds, 52 Days Point Lane, Smithfield, VA 23430.
A Life Celebration Service will be held at 2 p.m. today at Colonial Funeral Home.
The service will include the State Police Honor Guard and Bagpipes. The family will receive friends following the service in the funeral home.