HUBERT KESSLER (1941 - 2012)| Visit Guest Book
Hubert Kessler, 71, of Tuscaloosa, died at Hospice of West Alabama on May 14, 2012. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 17th, at 12:30-1:30 PM at Leak-Memory Chapel Funeral Home, 945 Lincoln Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36109 followed by a private family burial at 2 PM in Greenwood Serenity Memorial Gardens. A service in celebration of Hubert's life will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 18th at First United Methodist Church, 800 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401 with Dr. Kenneth Dunivant officiating and Heritage Chapel Funeral Home of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing. There will be a reception immediately after the service at the church in Chitwood Hall.
Hubert was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Berret Kessler, Sr., his dear stepmother Alice Ingram Kessler, his nephew, William David Watson, his infant grandson, Jakob Joseph Kessler, and brother in-law Robert Murray Bishop. Survivors include his wife, Cindy Lee Gayden Kessler; his brothers, William Berret Kessler, Jr. (Mary) of Long Beach, California: and William Haynes Ingram, Jr. (Katrina) of Montgomery, Alabama; his sister, Carolyn Ingram Trimble (Gary) of Destin, Florida; his children, Marcus Moore Kessler (Stacey) of Atlanta, Georgia and Libba Kessler Tubbs (Randall) of Moundville, Alabama; his step-sons, Lewis Ruben Gayden, III (Sandy) of Montgomery, Alabama and Christopher Redden Gayden of New Orleans, Lousiana; his grandchildren, Alysandra Grace Kessler, Katherine Elise Kessler, Marcus Moore Kessler, Jr., Clint Lee Overton (Amber), Kaci Rebecca Overton, Austin Hugh Tubbs and Max Lewis Gayden.
Hubert was born on January 13, 1941 in Montgomery, Alabama and graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 1959. He lettered in basketball and baseball and was the proud Drum Major of the school's band. He graduated from the University of Alabama, where he was President of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and later elected ATO's Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was a member of the UA baseball team during his freshman and sophomore years, and following graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant from the UA's R.O.T.C. program. He was honorably discharged after serving two years of active duty at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
Hubert was a very active member of the First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa. He served two terms as the church's Chairman of the Staff Parish Relations Committee and also served several terms on its Administrative Board. He especially enjoyed the relationships he developed with the members of the Friendship Sunday School class. Hubert was also a volunteer for Hospice of West Alabama for several years and later served two terms as President of the Board of Directors. He also served on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, Turning Point and Indian Hills Country Club.
Throughout his professional career, Hubert worked in the field of Human Resources. In 1966, he was employed by Reynolds Metals Company in Sheffield, Alabama as Assistant Personnel Manager. He later was named Personnel Director of the company's International Division, but in 1972, he was offered and accepted the position of Director of Personnel at The University of Alabama. In 1985 he was promoted to Associate Vice President for Human Resources where he continued to work until his retirement in 1997. Hubert then consulted with several organizations that included his serving for ten years as Arbitrator for the State Mental Health Department in its contractual relationship with Public Service Employees Local No. 1279. He also consulted with Kennasaw State University and Security Bank. In 2001, He was employed by Coral Industries as its Chief Human Resources Officer, where he continued to work until his health declined.
Hubert began playing tennis when his son, Mark, and daughter, Libba, developed interest in the game. He encouraged and supported Mark's playing career very closely and developed a love for the game as well. A highlight of Hubert's tennis was in 1984 when he and Mark were finalists in the U.S. Open Tennis Championships Father-Son division in Flushing Meadow, New York. Hubert had success in numerous sanctioned tennis tournaments with several accomplished partners and gave back to the game he loved through volunteering in many capacities, including co-founding the Tuscaloosa Tennis Association. He was elected President of the Alabama Tennis Association in 2000 and in 2005 was inducted into the Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame.
In later life, Hubert began playing golf regularly but not nearly as competitively as tennis. He always quipped that "golf is harder to play than tennis". He enjoyed the challenge of the game but, as with tennis, even more the company of playing with special friends and family.
Honorary pallbearers are members of the Friendship Sunday School Class of First
United Methodist Church; Beta Delta Chapter of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity; the
Tuscaloosa Tennis Association; the Tuscaloosa Personnel Association; all of his tennis partners and friends through the years, and the members of his golfing groups and social groups.
Special family members include his nieces: Elizabeth Kessler Rector (Chris) of Springboro, Ohio, Alicelyn Watson Hudson (Ames) of Destin, Florida and Lisa Marie d'Ambrosio (Craig) of Newberry Park, California; a very special grand-niece Caroline Hudson of Destin, Florida; nephews William Mitchell Kessler (Toni) of Danville, California and William Berret Kessler, III of Long Beach, California; Three special cousins: Eleanor Kessler Whitehead (Philip) of Columbia, South Carolina, Yeardley Fowler Blackwell (Robert) of Hayes, Virginia and Shirley Friendlich Wayne (Scott) of Washington, D.C. Cindy's sister Helen Anne Bishop of Reynolds Plantation, Georgia; her brother, Henry Fitzhugh Lee, III (Dixie) of Auburn, Alabama; nieces Bursley Hoefer (Steve) of Dallas, Texas; Lee Bruebach (Steve) of Naperville, Illinois; Allison Redd (Gaines) of Atlanta, Georgia; and nephew Robert Bishop, III of Virginia Beach, Virginia; and the countless friends that he considered family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the First United Methodist Church (800 Greensboro Avenue; Tuscaloosa, AL 35401) or Hospice of West Alabama,( 3851 Loop Road; Tuscaloosa, AL 35404).
Condolences may be offered at www.heritagechapeltuscaloosa.com.
Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on May 16, 2012