J.'s Story

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J. Ralph Kessans, 87, died at Autumn Woods Health Campus on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. He was a resident of rural New Albany. Ralph was born in Tell City on December 31, 1929 to Hilary and Adeline (Briggeman) Kessans. He attended elementary and high schools in Tell City and received his Bachelors and Masters of Arts degrees from Indiana State Teachers College and Indiana University. He retired in 1988 from Clarksville Community Schools after having taught for 15 years, counseled for 4 years and was in school administration for 18 years. He was active in a number of organizations: Clarksville Education Association (President for 3 terms); Indiana State Teachers Association (active committee member); National Education Association (regional committee member); Indiana Business Education Association; Optimist International (awards for outstanding service); Charter member of Clark County YMCA Board of Directors; Managed Community Service Federal Credit Union for 26 years; Clark County Red Cross (5 gal+ donor); Clark County United Way; Clarksville Optimist (member and past president); Indiana Retired Teachers Association (member and past president); AARP (legislative chairman); 4-H Club (distinguished awards); Perry County Chamber of Commerce; St. Anthony (Clarksville) Parish School Board (charter member and 2 term president); Clark County Probation Office (certificate of appreciation); Floyd County Prosecutors Office (volunteer); Giants-in-Faith recipient.
Ralph is a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in New Albany and participated as a Eucharistic Minister, Home Visitor, Retiree's Club and Choir Member. In addition to all of this, he found time to give of his counseling service to Brandon House Teen Counseling Center in New Albany.
Ralph is survived by his long-time partner, Bill McCart; four children, Mark (Mary), Tim, Kevin (Della) Kessans, and Theresa Crowe; 9 grandchildren; and 4 great grandchildren; the mother of his children, Betty Kessans; sisters, Alma Jean Schnellenberger and Darla Laake. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers-in-law, Gerald Schnellenberger and Albert Laake.
Visitation will be from 12 to 6 PM on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at Newcomer Funeral Home (3309 Ballard Lane, New Albany) and after 9 AM on Monday. His Funeral Mass will be at 11 AM on Monday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (1752 Scheller Lane, New Albany) with burial to follow at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in New Albany.
To leave a special message for the family, please visit www.NewcomerKentuckiana.com.
Published on March 9, 2017
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