Leonard Elwood Kessler, 88 of Lexington Park, MD peacefully went to be with his Lord on May 20, 2022 at home surrounded by his loving family.
Born May 16, 1934 in Lavelle, PA, he was the son of the late Elwood Wellington Kessler and Margaret Ida Lesher Kessler.
He is survived by his children Susan Kessler-Lott (Gill) of Lexington Park, MD, Barbara Jean Smith (Nelson) of Lexington Park, MD, Dianna Lynn Nueslein (Richard) of Hollywood, MD, Michael Eugene Kessler (Bonnie) of Lexington Park, MD, Joyce Marian Kessler-Nueslein of Lexington Park, MD, Annette Carol Wimmer (David) of Springfield, VA, Karen Kessler Stanley (Michael) of Lexington Park, MD, and Jay Wellington Kessler (Ann) of Lexington Park, MD, 21 Grandchildren, and 25 Great Grandchildren.
He is also survived by his siblings Melva Williams (Harold) of Painted Post, NY, Janice Cone of Lexington Park, MD, Marcia Takacs (Theodore) of Lexington Park, MD, and Marilyn Tourney (Keith) of Gulf Shores, FL.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife Peggy, with whom he shared 63 years of marriage, his son Stephen Leonard Kessler, and his siblings Ella Mae Whiting, Alfred Kessler and Arlin Kessler.
Leonard’s early years were spent on the family farm with chores such as collecting eggs and milking cows. His parents moved the family to St. Mary’s County in 1942 to build their lives in Maryland where he attended Great Mills High School; he later earned his GED while in the Air Force.
In 1950, he met the love of his life, Peggy, at North East Nazarene Camp in North East, Maryland. After a long-distance relationship with many love letters written, they were married on November 24, 1956 at the Church of the Nazarene in Collingdale, PA. During their six-year courtship, Leonard served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952- 1956. He spent a tour in Japan during the Korean conflict and was awarded the Korean Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
Leonard was a hardworking, entrepreneurial businessman. He was a St. Mary’s County School Bus Contractor for almost 40 years and established Kessler Body & Equipment, school bus dealership. During the 1970’s gas crisis, he started Kessler Bus Lines carrying patrons from all over the county to Pax River NAS. This was St. Mary’s County’s first shuttle bus service.
He and Peggy, along with partners, bought and refurbished the old Rex Theatre in Leonardtown opening Ye Olde Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant. In later years, they were instrumental in establishing the Leonardtown Church of the Nazarene. He was always finding ways to support Christian ministries and education including gifting Kings Christian Academy their first school bus contract.
His interests included deer hunting and collecting and restoring classic cars; he was a Model T and Nash Rambler enthusiast. His pride and joy were his children, making each one feel like they were his priority.
A Celebration of Life Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2022 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm at the Hollywood Church of the Nazarene, 24710 Sotterley Road, Hollywood, MD 20636.
The Funeral Service, officiated by Dr. Paul MacPherson, will be held at 1:00 pm; interment to follow at the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in honor of Leonard to the Leonardtown Church of the Nazarene, P.O. Box 1110, Leonardtown, MD 20650, or the Hollywood Church of the Nazarene, 24710 Sotterley Road, Hollywood, MD 20636. Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A.