Obituary: Howard Kessinger
Howard Kessinger, 81, Marysville, died Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, of complications from Huntington’s disease at a Lincoln, Neb., hospital.
A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Marysville.
Visitation was to be from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at Kinsley Mortuary. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at St. Paul's Episcopal Cabin, 10th and Alston, Marysville.
Kessinger was born Oct. 25, 1932, in Wellington, Kan., to Grace Johnson Kessinger and Jesse Kessinger. He graduated from Wellington High School and attended Wichita State University before enlisting in the U.S. Army and serving for two years, stationed in England.
He returned and worked at his brother’s newspaper, the Junction City Republic. He attended Kansas State University and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
After graduation, he worked at The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle as advertising director before moving to northwest Kansas to become managing editor at The Oberlin Herald, which he and his wife later purchased.
He and Sharon Totten were married Sept. 28, 1962, in Abilene.
They sold the Herald and bought the Marysville Advocate in 1975. The couple retired in 2012 and their daughter Sarah Kessinger became Advocate editor and publisher.
Kessinger spent many years in both Oberlin and Marysville involved in civic organizations and community development. He received a distinguished service award when he retired after 30 years of membership on the Marysville City Planning Commission.
He was a member and former senior warden of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marysville.
He was a past president of Marysville Main Street, Marysville Chamber of Commerce, Marysville Rotary Club and Marshall County Habitat for Humanity.
He and Sharon received the Outstanding Citizenship Award from Marysville Kiwanis in 2010 and the L.O.V.E. Marysville community service award in 2013.
Kansas Main Street recognized his special efforts for downtown development in 2010. He was named a Huck Boyd Leader of the Year in 2001 by the Huck Boyd National Instititute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.
Howard also received the KSU College of Architecture, Planning and Design Distinguished Service Award in 2003. He also served on the board of the U.S. Highway 36 Association.
Kessinger was a past president of Kansas Press Association, a member of the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame, a Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor, a former president of the William Allen White Foundation, a member of the Kansas Newspaper Foundation and had been recognized numerous times for his editorial writing.
He is a past alumni fellow of the KSU Alumni Association and was an active supporter of KSU's Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Ed Kessinger, and his sisters, Bernice Tolbert and Alberta Applegate.
He is survived by his wife and four children, Hannah Malotte, Marysville; Sarah Kessinger, Marysville, Mike Kessinger, Manhattan, and Mary Kessinger-Wassom, rural Marshall County; and seven grandchildren.
Memorials can be made to Marysville Union Pacific Depot Preservation Society or to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Marysville, and sent in care of Kinsley Mortuary, Marysville, Kansas, 66508, or to the Hereditary Neurological Disease Centre (memo line: Huntington’s disease) 3223 N. Webb Road Suite 4, Wichita, KS 67226