Lois Ellen (Irons) Kessler
Lois Ellen (Irons) Kessler, 88, of Elkins and formerly of Rowlesburg and Morgantown, entered Heaven on Sunday, July 18, 2021, at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, West Virginia.
Lois was born April 15, 1933, in Elkins, a daughter of the late Earl Leon Irons and Greta (Lipscomb) Irons.
Lois was a graduate of Elkins High School with the class of 1951 and graduated from Davis & Elkins College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She started her teaching career at the age of 19 on a permit, at a one-room school in Nail Run, in Tucker County. In addition to teaching, she hauled wood to light the pot belly stove each morning. She continued her career at Poe Run, which was also a one-room school, and later at National School in Monongalia County, in her earlier career. Lois later continued her teaching career in Preston County at Rowlesburg Elementary teaching third grade and having her youngest son Bill as a student. She finished her teaching career at Arnettesville Elementary teaching sixth grade and retiring at the age of 45 with 30 years of service.
On June 27, 1954, Lois married her high school sweetheart, Herschel Sonier Kessler, who preceded her in death in 2013. He was in the United States Army and they had only one weekend to plan their wedding.
They had celebrated 59 years of marriage. After the wedding, she later joined him in Alaska during the Korean War where he finished out his tour of duty. After returning from Alaska, they lived in Morgantown while Herschel finished his degree and then moved to Youngstown, Ohio, where they had their first son, Herschel S.“Herk” Kessler III. They later returned to Elkins where their second son was born, William “Bill” Kessler. They moved to Rowlesburg, West Virginia, after Herschel and Gary Schoonover purchased a store there and this is where Lois raised their sons and had many wonderful memories there until 1980.
She was an EMT with Rowlesburg Ambulance Service and the family bought a cabin on Shavers Fork and spent many weekends and special occasions there. Lois was an excellent cook who loved making food for these events, and spending time with her family.
After selling the store, they moved to Morgantown, West Virginia, and lived there until 1988. Lois and Herschel returned to Elkins, where they owned and operated the Allstate Insurance office until their retirement. They had enjoyed back packing through Europe, taking cruises as well as enjoying many trips to the beach. Lois later became a United Methodist Minister, having served the Rowan Memorial United Methodist Church at Mabie, West Virginia, where she made several special friendships. Lois loved her sons, Herk and Bill and always made them special dinners for their birthdays as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas and would celebrate the occasion with her china and special linens. She enjoyed hosting gatherings in her home, made wonderful Buckwheat cakes, and enjoyed going to the Irons Reunions.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Elkins, where she loved singing in the Choir and her weekly bible studies. She was a member of Circle 4 of the church, volunteered with the Back Pack Program, and other church events. Lois lived for God, putting her faith in Him and trusting Him her entire life.
Lois was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Retired Teachers Association. Lois kept active by going to Silver Sneakers and water aerobics.
Lois is survived by her sons, Herschel “Herk” Kessler and wife, Ellen, of Elkins, and William “Bill” Kessler and wife, Pam, of Morgantown, West Virginia; brother, Bishop Neil Irons and wife, Susan, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; sister-in-law, Exie Irons of Shepherdstown, West Virginia; a special nephew, Tim Irons and wife, Dedie, and son, Cooper, of Elkins. Also surviving is a step grandson, Edward Bauer and wife, Anita; step-great-granddaughter, Hunter, all of Arthurdale, West Virginia; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Also preceding her in death, in addition to her parents and husband is one brother, Ronald Ironsand sister-in-law, Inez Irons.
Friends may call from 5 until 8 p.m. Thursday, July 22, 2021, at the Tomblyn Funeral Home in Elkins. On Friday, July 23, 2021, she will be moved to the First United Methodist Church in Elkins, where a funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. with Rev. Brian Seders and Bishop Neil Irons officiating. Interment will follow at the Maplewood Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 315 Kerens Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241 in memory of Lois.
The Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins is in charge of the arrangements for Lois Ellen Irons Kessler.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.tomblynfuneralhome.com.