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  Harold Ray Kessler, 83, Bowen, Illinois passed away at 9:35 am Monday, January 25, 2021 at home surrounded by his loved ones.

  He was born February 10, 1937 to Lester Ellsworth and Hazel Mae (McCabe) Kessler in Knox City, Missouri.  He joined Lois Kaye Mitchell in marriage on June 2, 1957, in Edina, Missouri.

  Harold enjoyed fishing, hunting, trapping, camping, running in demolition derbies, a good pair of bibs, and was never known to turn down a fish or chicken fry. He enjoyed visiting with friends at coffee shops and re-telling those tales.  His favorite thing of all was spending time with his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. Whether that was “stealing noses and toes”, fishing, or what we will all remember most of all,  “Be careful”, “Get down from there”, or his scooping us up to safety.  He was often on watch and determined to keep us all safe, always.

  Harold had many different employment adventures through the years.  He started out as a self-employed farmer.  He went on to work in oil fields, became a town cop, fireman, bus driver, mechanic, ran demolition derbies, worked several years at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, farmed for Sharpe Farms and was road commissioner for St. Albans Township.

  Harold is survived by his wife, Lois; two sons: Robert (Bob) & (Melanie) Kessler of Plymouth, IL.,  and Roger (Barb) Kessler of Augusta; one daughter: Michelle (Gary) Neill of West Point, IL.; six granddaughters: Jaclyn (John) Dieterle, Jessica (Jess) VanBeck, Jami (Justin) Brink, Jaci (Lance) Ferguson, Dakota McAllister and Sammie (Steven) Kovach;  Six grandsons:  Josh Kessler, Joel Kessler, Jason (Brittney) Kessler, Mitchell (Ashley) Kessler, Matt (Crystal) Kessler, and Marc (Mallory) Kessler; One brother:  Charlie (Kathleen) Kessler; four sisters:  Irene Powell, Betty Songer, Linda (Skip) Lay, and Sue Wiskirchen; also, several great grandkids.

  Harold was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers:  Lester, Elmer, Ralph, Donald Gene and Floyd; three sisters: Willa Belle, Velma and Violet.

  Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 am Friday January 29, 2021 at the Hamilton Funeral home in Augusta, Illinois, with Pastor Sheri Renner officiating. Burial will follow at the West Point Cemetery in West Point, Illinois. Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 pm Thursday at the Hamilton Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Southeastern School District #337.

  The Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta, IL is handling arrangements.