Catholic 03

John R. Kessel

April 23, 1932 ~ October 27, 2021 (age 89)


John R. Kessel age 89, passed away peacefully October 27, 2021, following complications from a stroke. He was born in Massillon, Ohio on April 23, 1932, the son of Ralph and Ella (Baldwin) Kessel, and younger brother of James (Jim) and Theodore (Ted), who all preceded him in death.

John was a graduate of St. Mary School and a 1950 graduate of Washington High School, both in Massillon. He earned his degree in accounting from the University of Cincinnati in 1956. He was drafted into the Army in 1956 and served two years. He retired as a Senior Accountant from Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corp in Orrville, Ohio. John was a lifelong member of St. Mary church and sang in the choir for over 53 years. He was a member of the Massillon K of C Council #554, served as treasurer of St. Mary Booster club for many years and president of the Perry Adult Booster Club from 1987-1988. 

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Janet (Hammer) Kessel, four children, eight grandchildren and one step-grandson. Daughter Jodi Kessel (Marc) Szpiszar of Hubertus, Wisconsin, children Matthew Lyon (Milwaukee, WI) Madison Lyon (Germany), and Andrew Szpiszar (Milwaukee, WI). Sons Jeffrey (Candy), children Hannah and Ryan of Massillon, Jonathan (Jennifer), children Jackson and Jordyn of Canton, and Joel (Cathy), children Jenna and Cole of Dublin, Ohio. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30am Saturday, October 30, 2021, at St. Mary Church, Fr. Edward Gretchko officiating. John will be interred in the St. Mary section of the St. Joseph Cemetery. Family and friends will be received one hour before mass on Saturday from 8:30am to 9:30am and at a luncheon at the K of C following interrment. In lieu of flowers donations to St. Mary Massillon parish in John’s name are appreciated.

Condolences to the family may be made at

Heitger Funeral Home and Crematory  - Jackson Chapel   330-830-0148

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John, please visit our floral store.


October 30, 2021

8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
St. Mary Catholic Church

Mass of Christian Burial
October 30, 2021

9:30 AM
St. Mary Catholic Church

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