JEFFERSON - John Ernest Kesler, 73, entered into rest Friday, April 4, 2014.
He was born in Jefferson on March 16, 1941. He was the son of the late G.T. and Oris Massey Kesler. Mr. Kesler attended North Georgia College and graduated from the Athens Business College. He worked, along with his father and brother, in the family grocery business at Kesler’s Supermarket for many years. He later retired from the I.W. Davis Probation Detention Center with 18 years of service. He was preceded in death by a nephew, Joseph Hensley.
He was a natural athlete, participated in many sports in high school, and was most proud of wearing number 29 for the Jefferson Dragons football team. He remained an avid sports fan throughout his life. In 1998 he was recognized at halftime for his loyal support of the Jefferson Dragons, where he pulled the chains at home football games for 36 years. He was also an avid fisherman, and especially enjoyed the family tradition of trips to St. Mark’s, Fla., started by his father, and continuing in recent years with his brothers, Theron and George.
Mr. Kesler was a longtime member of the Bethany United Methodist Church. He loved his extended family and many lifelong friends. He especially enjoyed church music, and often joined with, and supported, his wife and daughters in their musical endeavors. Because of his birthday on 3-16, he had a special fondness for John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Survivors include his wife, Lynda Massey Kesler, Jefferson; daughters, Mendy Kesler Alford and her husband John, Houston, Texas, and Becky Kesler Jordan and her husband Todd, Gainesville; brothers and sisters-in-law, Theron and Janice Kesler, Jefferson, and George and Ladson Kesler, Hoschton; and five grandchildren, Claire Kesler Alford, Marjorie Ann Alford, Emma Louise Alford, Jaron Jordan, and Ben Jordan.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Bethany United Methodist Church with the Revs. Mike McLemore and Charles Crabbe officiating. The body will lie in state at Bethany on Thursday from 1:30 to 2 p.m., prior to the service. The burial will follow in the Bethany United Methodist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be his nephews, Louis Dennis, Jason Hensley, Carter Cain, Cody Cain, Walt Massey, Franklin Kesler, Joe Elrod, and Andy Brooksher. The visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 9, , from 2 to 4 and 5 to 7 p.m. at Evans Funeral Home.
Flowers are optional, and memorials may be made to the Bethany U.M.C. Perpetual Care Cemetery Fund, 4659 Brockton Rd., Jefferson, GA 30549.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.evansfuneralhomeinc.com
Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, is in charge of arrangements.