Lori Keller Kessel, 56, of Fairfield, passed away while surrounded by family on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at the Jefferson County Health Center.
Visitation for family and friends will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, November 18 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Fairfield. A mass to celebrate her life will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 19 at St. Mary Catholic Church with Father Nik Adam officiating. Following the mass, she will be cremated. Burial of cremains will be at a later date. A memorial has been established. Cards and memorials may be sent to 1505 Dogwood Drive, Fairfield, IA 52556.
Lori was born May 22, 1963, in Keosauqua, Iowa to Ruth Stegelman Keller and Robert Keller. She was the youngest of four children, and the only daughter. Lori married Steven Kessel on February 12, 1993. They had two children together, Andrew and Makayla.
Lori graduated from Van Buren High School in 1981 and went on to earn three degrees from the University of Iowa. She held several jobs in banking and business, but most loved her job when she used her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling to work with children with disabilities and challenging life circumstances.
Lori loved music, having learned to play the organ at the age of three. She would go on to learn to play the piano, clarinet, oboe, and timpani. In her later years, Lori loved nothing more than watching her kids learn to play instruments, and perform in music, dance, and theater. She proudly attended all five high school and college graduations for her kids, traveling around Iowa and to Washington, D.C. When she wasn’t cheering on her kids, she was at Kinnick Stadium watching the Iowa Hawkeyes play football. She never missed a game if she could help it.
Lori was preceded in death by her parents; grandparents; brother, Jim; and nephew, Joshua. She is survived by her husband Steve Kessel of Fairfield; son, Andrew Kessel of Burlington; daughter, Makayla Kessel of Arlington, Virginia; brothers John (Rhonda) Keller of Keosauqua and Chuck (Tina) Keller of Cedar Rapids; stepfather, Frank Lunsford of Fairfield, and many brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.