Lester Kesselring
November 21, 2011


Life Legacy

KESSELRING, LESTER, age 71 of Sebring, FL was called home to be with the Lord on Monday, November 21, 2011. Lester was born and raised in Dixon, IL. His career began in 1959 after entering Brethren Volunteer Service, and he was challenged to organize an activities department for a multilevel retirement community in Boonsboro, MD. He met Barbara Landers, whom he later married, and the two committed themselves as a team to serve the elderly. They have continued to do so for 50 years. The two-year service program offered a vocation and led to further education in the area of retirement community administration at George Washington University in Washington, D. C. Lester said he was privileged to have been a part of a selected group who helped develop the University’s first nursing home administration course of study. He became a licensed nursing home administrator and served at the Fahrnehy-Keedy Home in Maryland from 1965-1975. During this period, Lester developed a senior pantomime Thespian group, all of which averaged 86 years of age. The group was appropriately named “The Stay Young Club,” and they traveled around within a 200-mile radius performing Broadway musicals for church, service and civic organizations. Lester received recognition from the U.S. Senate, and he was listed in the Congressional Record, April 30, 1971, for developing the program for his senior citizen group. Lester accepted a call to come to Sebring, Fl in 1976 to organize and direct an activities program for the Palms Retirement Communities, then Florida Brethren Homes. He worked for 10 years in the former Palms Manor (Hotel Sebring) and at the Palms Estates in Lorida. He experienced the excitement of the construction of the new Palms of Sebring as well as the move into it 20 years ago. He became a certified activities consultant through the National Certification Council for Activities Professionals in 1990. He received the Creative Service “Caregiver of the Year Award” in 1993, and initiated the Fall Harvest/Apple Festival in 1996. Lester’s projects included consultantion work for the Palms, establishing a Palms Historical Center, Volunteer work and traveling. Lester believed that his 52 years of ministry with older adults was a blessing and a joy to all. Lester was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Lois Kesselring, Sebring and he is survived by his loving family, wife of 50 years, Barbara Kesselring; son, Anthony (Cathy) Kesslering; daughters, Dawn (Jerel) Eller, Bonnie Kesselring, Roseann Kiefer; sister, Marcel (Baldy) Miranda; brother, Howard (Sharon) Kesselring; aunt, Darlene (Dean) Butterbaugh; grandson, Jesse Eller; numerous nieces & nephews and their beloved puppy, “Lilly-Bell” The family will receive friends 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Friday with a celebration of Lesters life at 4:30 pm at Sebring Church of the Brethren, 700 S. Pine Street, Sebring. Memorials in his name are requested to The Palms Foundation, 725 S. Pine St., Sebring, FL 33870 or to Sebring Church of the Brethren. Burial will be in Winber, PA.

Condolences or Life Stories may be expressed in his Guestbook. Morris Funeral Chapel, Sebring, Fl.

Sign Guestbook

Photo Upload Form
Preceded In Death By

Charles and Lois Kesselring, Parents

Survived By

Barbara Kesselring, Wife
Anthony (Cathy) Kesslering, Son
Dawn (Jerel) Eller, Daughter
Bonnie Kesselring, Daughter
Roseann Kiefer, Daughter
Marcel (Baldy) Miranda, Sister
Howard (Sharon) Kesselring, Brother
Darlene (Dean) Butterbaugh, Aunt
beloved puppy, “Lilly-Bell”
Jesse Eller, Grandson
numerous nieces & nephews


Place Of Birth: Dixon, IL
Place Of Death: Sebring, FL.
Death: November 11, 2011
Ocupation: licensed nursing home administrator
Palms Retirement Communities
National Certification Council
for Activities Professionals
initiated the
Fall Harvest/Apple Festival in 1996


The family will receive friends
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Friday
with a celebration of Lesters life
at 4:30 pm at Sebring Church of the Brethren,
700 S. Pine Street, Sebring


11/23/2011 - Ione Chappell
To Bonnie and Barbara Prayers and sympathey to you both. To Howard, I know it's been hard but he's at rest now.


11/23/2011 - Nancy Casey
Barbara and Family -- Our prayers are with you. We are thankful that Lester is at peace.


11/23/2011 - Rachel Wright
My thoughts are with you all during this difficult time. His infectious smile will always be remembered, bringing a smile with that memory.


11/23/2011 - George and Judy Monroe
May God bless your family during your time of sorrow. During this Thanksgiving season we can be thankful for a life as well spent as Lester's.


11/24/2011 - Karen Wenger
How much Mom enjoyed all the wonderful things Lester did for the residents of the Palms from the 20+ Christmas trees, to the fun and games and wonderful Apple Festival. He was truly a blessing to so many and a fine man to know. He is in God's loving hands now.


11/24/2011 - Nancy White
My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I'll will be thinking of all the good Thankgivings we had together.


11/24/2011 - Larry McPherson
My Condolences to the family. Little did I know that our picture together last year at our reunion would be the last time we would be together. God's blessings. Larry McPherson


11/25/2011 - DR YANNUCCI
It was ALWAYS such a joy to have The Kesselring Clan in my office for visits. Lester was such a kind man with a joy for life! And what a life! He had the gift of laughter which he obviously shared with many in need! What a guy! Fly High Lester! My deepest condolences to you all. Dr Y


12/02/2011 - Edward Poling
We were sorry to hear of Lester's death. Please share our condolences with Barbara and the family. Our parents very much appreciated working with Lester and Barbara at Fahrney-Keedy Memorial Home in the 1970's and 80's. Our mother (Virginia) is almost 100 years old (will be on December 31) and living in at Ravenwood Nursing Home in Hagerstown. We give thanks for Lester's life and for his important contribution to the Church of the Brethren and it's eldercare institutions. May God give you strength and confort in these days.


12/19/2011 - Heinrich Mihr
Dear Barbara and children, hope you remember me. I was just looking for your you in the internet for your address. So I found, that Lester passed away in November. I remember so many wonderful experiences with you all, even it is almost 50 years ago in Fahrney-Keedy. So I feel with you and send you my deep condolence. I you send me an Email, I will have your Email-address again, which I lost. I think of you Henry My address: Heinrich Mihr Am Weißenstein 43 37269 Eschwege Germany Mail: hmmihr@gmx.de