S. Lawrence “Larry” Kessler, loving father of his six children, 84, of Rome, passed away peacefully, on August 24, 2019 at the Abraham House, Utica, following his illness.
Seymour (Larry to his family and friends) was born on May 23, 1935 in Utica, NY to Max and Gertrude Philipson Kessler. He received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Miami and then his master’s degree at Syracuse University. Larry employed his skills at NASA Langley Research Center, VA and later Rome Air Development Center (Rome Laboratories).
On December 19, 1955, he married Mary Ann Kulmus. Over the years they raised five daughters, and one son. After the passing of his dearly loved wife Mary Ann on Aug. 11, 1988, Larry’s main focus was on his six children whom he loved with all his heart. Larry had a passion for music, especially jazz. He was a talented guitar player and loved to play, and his family and friends loved to listen. In his spare time, he taught many children to play the guitar. Larry was known for his quick wit, and his kind and compassionate spirit. Larry was often referred to as the smartest man in the world by those closest to him.
Larry retired from Rome Laboratory in January of 1996. He had several roles there that included Space Systems Engineer and Intelligence and Reconnaissance Directorate. Upon his retirement, Larry was an active volunteer at the Utica City School District, CASA, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and at NY State Family Services, as well as teaching ESL and citizenship classes. He received several accolades for his volunteer work. For many years he also worked part time as a tax advisor.
Larry was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary Ann; and his beloved grandson Jimmy Kallassy; his parents; and sister Phyllis Rotker. He is survived by his six children Linda Kessler, Rome, NY, Cheryl (Kyle) Barcomb, Novi, MI, Sandy (Carmine) Avantini, Linden, MI, Laura (Richard) Fryc, Scott Kessler, Pittsburgh, PA, and Terri (Ron) Toepp, Rome, NY; his twelve grandchildren, Tracy, Jimmy, Tricia, Marianne, Krista, Craig, Raymond, Joseph, Cydney, Joshua, Jake and Miranda; his sister Dolores Glovinsky; and several cousins, nieces, one nephew; and seven great-grandchildren.
Larry’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, from Temple Emanu-El, 2710 Genesee Street in Utica, with Rabbi Peter Schaktman, officiating. Interment will be in Forest Hill Cemetery, Oneida Street, Utica, where he will be laid to rest next to Mary Ann. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Abraham House, 1203 Kemble Street, Utica, NY in memory of Seymour Lawrence Kessler.
Larry and his family’s care are entrusted to Jacobson-Pizer Funeral Chapel. (315) 797-9121.