Hastings College mourns the death of the Rev. Dr. Silas G. Kessler, Trustee Emeritus
With great sadness, Hastings College announces the death of Trustee Emeritus, the Reverend Dr. Silas G. Kessler, 100.
Memorial services will be Saturday, November 19, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. in First Presbyterian Church, Hastings. The Rev. Stanley R. Kessler and the Rev. Dr. William Nottage-Tacey will officiate.
A private family burial will be held in Parkview Cemetery, Hastings. There will be no viewing or visitation.
There will be a book signing Friday, November 18, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the funeral home, and one hour prior to service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to First Presbyterian Church of Hastings, Hastings College, or Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital Hospice program.
“To say that Si served on the Hastings College Board of Trustees for 59 years is certainly inadequate,” the Rev. Dr. Nottage-Tacey, current member of the HC Board of Trustees and pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Hastings, said. “He was a vital spiritual and intellectual force for advancing the cause of the college and the relationship between sound learning and sound Christian religion. His strong steady mind could be relied upon to bring wit, wisdom and insight into some of the most difficult decisions facing the church, the college, the seminary (he was a Trustee on the Board of Dubuque Theological seminary) and the nation.”
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 29, 1911, Dr. Kessler followed his father into the ministry, earning his Doctor of Divinity from the University of Dubuque (Iowa) in 1934. Soon thereafter, he accepted calls as a Presbyterian minister, first in Farmington, Iowa, and then in Fullerton, Neb. In 1940, Dr. Kessler accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church in Hastings, Neb., where he served as Pastor for 36 years.
In 1941, Dr. Kessler joined the Hastings College Board of Trustees where he assumed various leadership positions including Vice President of the Board, Chairman of the Church Relations Committee and member of the Instruction and Faculty Relations Committee. For his remarkable service to the college, he was inducted into the Pro Rege Society in 1997 and received the President’s Award in 1998.
On October 25, 2000, after 59 years of service on the Hastings College Board of Trustees, Dr. Kessler attended his final meeting as an active Trustee. During the meeting, he offered a prayer which included the following passage:
“Grant that Hastings College shall not simply teach what people need to know to earn a degree but provide all who study here with a philosophy and a perspective of life that shall lead not only to material success, but to growth in the spirit and the service of God and others, a lifestyle which will make life abundant and satisfying.”
Dr. Kessler was preceded in death on September 5, 2011, by his wife of 76 years, Ruth Margaret Kessler.