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Janet R. (Manion) Kessler

Died: Wed., Jan. 13, 2021


Family to do services at later date


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Janet Manion Kessler, age 75, formerly of Camden, NY, passed away peacefully Wednesday evening January 13, 2021 in Asheville, NC.

Janet is the oldest daughter of the late John H. Manion and Gladys D. Manion of Herkimer, NY.  Her sister Margaret M. Robinson and brother Terrance Manion preceded her in death.

Born armed with a lifelong passion for learning and education, she made a lesson out of any situation available. Janet raised her children to know the importance of and the appreciation for knowledge, and in turn to share that with others. She was a walking library of factoids, from “always have a firm handshake, nobody likes a wimpy handshake” to “did you realize that…” sharing whenever the opportunity arose. She was unavailable every evening from 7:30-8:00 PM to watch her favorite show, Jeopardy.  If she was with you, you could play along, but “no talking”. If you called at that time, unless you wanted to play long distance, she would tell you “I’ve got to go…Jeopardy’s on!” If you’ve played with her, you know that she frequently won.

In 1984 she felt as if she’d won the lottery, accepting a position as a teachers’ aide at Camden Central High School. Throughout her 23-year career, she engaged her students through one-to-one coaching, personal attention and a resolute dedication to their success. Not only did she touch so many of her students’ lives but they touched her as well and she loved them for it.

As a prolific baker and excellent cook Janet was generous to all those around her. She was the first to offer to bring a dish to your home, meals to those who may be sick, grieving or in need, and many times “just because” you loved one of her recipes and she just loved you. If you liked a recipe, you could be sure she’d mail it to you including her tips on how to get it right. She could whip up an amazing pie or even a meal in a moments notice and spent weeks preparing countless holiday tins to take to visit friends, many of them elderly, who may be alone during the holidays.

Janet was an avid gardener. The day after Christmas she would start the countdown to spring, announce the first robin sighting and start planning her yard. Living in McConnellsville, NY on the 10th tee of the golf club, if you did not see her working in the yard, you could appreciate the multitude of fully flowering beds around her house. Occasionally she would set up a table next to the cart path and have lemonade and cookies for the golfer’s, “just because” it was fun to do. Janet was a member of the local Garden Club, played golf with the ladies and was a member of the Red Hat Society, though she always told you “no, we’d never wear those red hats!”.  All who knew her knew her smile and her kind demeanor, promoting kindness and honesty to everyone.  

Her first love was her family, dedicating herself to her children and her grandchildren, always making sure their needs were met before her own. Janet is survived her son Gordon J. Kessler (Lawrence Johnson) of Atlantic Beach, FL, Renée M. Milby of Syracuse, NY, son Michael D. Kessler of Syracuse, NY, Julie Scroggs (Danny Scroggs) of Asheville, NC, and niece Elizabeth Robinson, raised by Janet after the untimely death of her sister, Margaret. Also surviving are her two brothers whom she loved dearly; Daniel Manion (Hilary Manion) of Weaverville, NC, John T. Manion, Birmingham, AL, her former husband, Gordon R. Kessler, and her beloved grandchildren, Savannah, Evan, Morgan, Madison, Sophia, Aline and Jackson in addition to several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is planned for later this year near her home in central New York to celebrate her life and the love she had for her family and friends.

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Studebakers
   Posted Thu January 21, 2021
Our deepest condolences she was a great lady and will be missed by everyone 💕

Cheryl and Herb Franklin
   Posted Wed January 27, 2021
Our deepest condolences to Janet’s family. She was truly a sweet and loving lady. She leaves fond memories. God Bless and may she Rest In Peace.
Cheryl and Herb Franklin

Meghanne Boyer
   Posted Sun February 21, 2021
Sorry for your loss. She was so kind.

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