Edward Charles Kessey took his final peaceful leave from this life holding the hand of his beloved wife Susie on May 23, 2023 at the home of his daughter Karen in Greenwich.
He was born October 17, 1940 to Edward August and Mona Bernice MacFarlane Kessey in Port Arthur, Texas.
He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School there, where he had fallen in love with Martha Sue Stranahan. He earned a degree in medical technology from Lamar University while she earned an education degree at North Texas State. They married, and they had three daughters, Kristen, Karen, and Kathryn.
He worked with multiple blood banking institutions including the National Red Cross in Washington DC, and then the regional Red Cross in Tulsa. He worked at the blood bank at St. John Hospital in Tulsa for over 25 years, usually on the night shift as that conveniently avoided the hormonal teenage girl chaos in the house.
Together with his devoted and occasionally long-suffering wife, Susie, they raised their girls and built a wonderful life. He was an avid sportsman, enjoying hunting and fishing for many years. His youngest daughter Kathy referred to the garage freezer as “the wildlife preserve” given the fish and fowl that he successfully came home with over the years. He loved going fishing in the Oklahoma lakes, with his daughters when they were willing, and more often with his longtime nextdoor neighbor Milton East, who also had three girls and could easily commiserate about the general nonsense that entailed over the years.
He was a longtime member of the Oil Capital Rod and Gun Club, where he took up skeet and silhouette shooting, and successfully competed in the Southern Nationals multiple times. He was good at it – probably because he considered aiming at all the boys who came up the walk over the years.
His other passion was flyfishing, though his dearest Susie was actually better than he was at it. They traveled extensively in retirement and enjoyed many flyfishing adventures together, memorably following the Lewis and Clark trail through the West.
He was a notable curmudgeon in the neighborhood, sharing yard equipment, old man advice, beer, and directions to the newer neighbors.
He is survived by his wife, Martha Sue (Susie), his daughter Karen Ball, his grandchildren Janet Martin (Kenny), USMC Corporal Jacob Ball, and Sadie Ball, and his great-grandchildren Cadence and Hunter Martin, as well as many much loved in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his daughters Kathryn Benton (Jerome) and Kristen Wray (Danny), his son-in-law Steve Ball, and his brothers Peter Kessey (Barbara) and Colonel C. Otis Smith (Dr. Dottie).
Ed had a penchant for Johnnie Walker Black, and was definitely spoiled in his final year, including the sponge on a stick sips in his last 48 hours.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Hope For Hallie www.hopeforhallie.org, an organization started by dear family friends who are devoting time and funding to mental health awareness and access to treatment for those in need. If you are okay with pouring three fingers of Johnnie Walker and adding a touch of tonic, please raise a glass of Dad’s favorite in his honor – if not, raise a glass of whatever your favorite is!
Services will be set for a future date to be determined.