In Remembrance

of Anne (Quatsoe) Kesler

1932 - 1999

The following is the eulogy to Anne (Quatsoe) Kesler, written by her children.

You know, you’re never ready to say goodbye to your Mom, but looking back over Mom and Dad’s 8 millimeter films recently helped us to see that Anne Kesler indeed had a full life with many blessings.

She had many friends and looked back fondly on her growing years in DePere. Anne was a beautiful girl inside and outside. She was quite a baton twirler, a good student, and most importantly, a very considerate sister and daughter. She adored her Mom, Dad, Brother John and Sister Helen, and her deep love of family would only grow.

Anne was 18 when she met Herb, and their love grew quickly. They were married within the year. They didn’t get much time together before kids filled – and often overfilled – their lives. With Dad working long, hard hours to make sure the nine children we were well educated, fed, clothed and more, Mom was the cornerstone of our home. She made sense of the chaos and kept a sense of humor, too.

The story about when she went to have her youngest child, Pat, explained it well. She was still in the recovery room when a phone call from her son Jeff came in. He was just a couple floors up -- proudly telling Mom that he just broke his arm for the 3rd time and he was staying at the same hospital she was. She’d smile and say, "I couldn’t even get away at the hospital!"

As amazing as it was to get us to school on time after the hours spent at the table doing homework with us the night before, Mom would be waiting with freshly baked bread when we got home.

She helped us all get through an above average need for those casts, bandages, stitches, thermometers and more. I’m sure Uncle Harold and Aunt Mary lost count of how many dinners with Mom and Dad had to be canceled as yet another trip to the emergency room was needed. It was usually Jim, or Jeff, or Paul, but pretty much everyone had a turn. She practically had a rosary burn on her hand through our teenage years for sure.

Whatever troubled us, Mom made us feel better. Sometimes with 7-Up and saltine crackers. Sometimes with a great big pot of chili.

And even when we grew older and it was time to let us go, off to college or on a trip, Mom’s hugs were the kind that would last and last. You could count on Mom. She was always there. (pause)

And not just for us. Mom was well-known at church, school, the Elks Club, the Serra Club and United Commercial Travelers. People knew Anne was dependable, honest, loyal… a very caring and giving person.

Anne was very talented and creative. She was always busy making ornaments, crafts or her specialty, fabric painting. She did beautiful work and taught painting classes for many years.

Anyone who visited their home knew how she loved Hummels. Each one of them reminded her of someone she loved, and that’s why they have been so special to her.

Springtime was filled with smells of her fresh cut flowers, such as lilacs, and homemade rhubarb torte. And any time of the year was fine for watching those old movies that she enjoyed so much.
She was proud of her French, Irish and Belgium heritage, plus the German heritage of Dad’s family. Anne took a great interest in genealogy and her hard work gave our family an even stronger foundation.

She loved to travel. There were wonderful trips Mom and Dad would take pretty much every year. It kept them on track and loving each other more and more. But what really kept their marriage strong was their traditional Friday night, and sometimes Saturday night, dancing. They especially loved to waltz. Dad would say, "Even if you’re upset with each other, you can’t stay that way if you go dancing." Wise words.

Sunday was family day. Mom was happiest when we were all together… on the houseboat, or later out at the cottage. There are so many wonderful memories we shared. The fun got even better when Uncle Harold’s family, Aunt Marilyn, Aunt Carole’s or Aunt Helen’s family or other relatives joined in. It truly was ‘the more, the merrier’ at our house.

Birthdays were very special, as were holidays. Mom made strong traditions in our family. A mix of the church teachings and her own artistic flair with homemade decorations, bourbon balls and the Christmas cookies we would make together.  

And Mom and Dad always made Christmas Eve memorable. One of the best was when Dad surprised Mom with what used to be her beautiful cocktail ring. She gasped because all the stones were gone. She only had to dig a little deeper to see that the ring was reset into a new one, with an added diamond in it. Anne was indeed surprised, and she treasured her new ring and our Dad’s love.

When she became a grandmother 23 year ago, no one was more surprised than her at how much fun it was to have babies around again! And while it was always amazing how Anne could keep up with all her kid’s friends and all sorts of information about them, she was equally interested and supportive  in her grandchildren’s lives. Her grandchildren have always been so important to her, and our hope is that Sarah, Laura, Mike, Nick, Craig, Dan, Becky, Gregory, Jenny, David and Maggie, Christopher and Sam will all hold her love close for their entire lives.

As for her grandson Bradley, we hope that Anne can now hold and love him as she has missed doing through the years he has already been in Heaven.

In her recent illness, she remained just as kind and easy to be around as ever. We never thought of her as tough because she was so softhearted. But now we realize just how tough she was…. not just through her illness, but through her entire life.

While we still didn’t want to let her go, we are all thankful we had a chance to specifically show and tell her how much we loved her. Her love has equipped all of us with the ability to go on. Much like Mom’s faith in God, the effect she has had on our lives will keep us strong. We will always remember her and will always love her.

We know that the Sparkle in her Irish Eyes - along with her beautiful smile - are watching over us today.


A copy of the "Kesler 1993 Christmas Retrospective" video can be viewed and/or downloaded from here: 1993 Kesler Retrospective Video