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
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
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
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
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.