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Irene Kessler

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Irene P. Kessler, 94, of Sparta, Wisc., passed away Monday, June 25, 2018, at Rolling Hills Nursing Home in Sparta.

Irene was born May 6, 1924, to David and Marie (Schroeder) Becker in Marion, S.D. After graduation from high school in Marion, Irene went to work at a small town café in Freeman, S.D., waitressing. Irene was a bit apprehensive about working at this café that the “Kessler brothers” owned. Once she began working there her fate was sealed; she and Fred J. Kessler fell in love. The “Kessler Brothers,” Fred and Ted, were just back from WWII and soon Irene and Fred were married

Irene was a busy military bride, packing up and moving at least 26 times in 25 years, along with living through another worrisome war, the Korean Conflict, in which Fred served. Eventually Fred chose to go to Fort McCoy and settle down in Sparta for retirement. 

Irene is survived by her brother Harley of South Dakota; two children, Mike Kessler of Sparta, and Kathy (Mike) Rooker of Sparta; grandchildren Carissa (Rick) Marx; great-grandchildren Jacob Green and Hayley (Kole Harris) Green; great-great-grandchildren Noah and Elaina Green; step-great-grandchildren Rorie and Drew Marx; along with many nieces, nephews, friends and her beloved cat, Pearl. 

Irene was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Fred, in 1999; a grandson, Scott Michael Rooker; brothers Roland, who was killed in action in WWII, and Alvin Becker; and a sister, Doloris Owen.

A memorial service was held Friday, June 29 at the Torkelson Page-Smith Funeral Home in Sparta. Burial followed in Mount Hope Cemetery, Sparta.