Alan Robert Kessel, 78, of Matthews, NC, passed away on Tuesday, July 20, after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on July 24, 1942, in Bradford, PA, son of the late William O. and Marjorie Warner Kessel. Al was blessed to grow up with older brother Richard L. Kessel and younger sister Martha K. Wilcox (Robert), who survive him and who spent many heartwarming hours with him, especially during the months of his illness.
Al is survived by his wife, Gerri Medlin Gordon Kessel, with whom he recently celebrated 20 years of marriage. Left behind to cherish memories of a special bond over sports cars is his son, Dean (Beth). Al was a hero to his daughter, Robin, who, along with Gerri, was by his side as he peacefully passed away.
Al was a stepfather to Tracy Gordon, Chuck Gordon (Katrina), and Nicole Papciak, who recall times of fun and adventure on Lake Norman and on Ocean Isle Beach vacations along with step-grandchildren Katherine Gordon (fiance Hunter Tripp), Cal Papciak, Baylor Papciak, Bryson Gordon, and Alexandra Gordon, who all knew him as “Grandpal.”
Also surviving are step-grandchildren Dr. Russ Powell (children Adiah and Walden), Tip Powell, and Jack Powell.
“Uncle Al” will be missed by his many nieces and nephews, who always anticipated visits with him and the jokes and laughter he shared with them.
He is also survived by his former wife, Jackie Sirard, the mother of Robin and Dean.
After graduation from Bradford Area High School in 1960, Al proudly served his country for four years in the U.S. Air Force.
For years, Al was employed in his father’s construction business in Bradford. After moving to Charlotte in 1978, he opened his own business, A.R. Kessel, Inc., selling and erecting metal buildings. His attention to detail and penchant for punctuality, along with a strong work ethic, made it possible for his business to thrive for 29 years. During his career, his mentorship was sought after and highly respected, and he served in many capacities in various industry organizations.
Al’s decision to retire was a difficult one, but he longed to spend more time at the families Lake Norman home where for 16 years they spent a portion of each week, his retirement also afforded them the possibility to travel abroad and throughout the United States.
Al’s favorite car was a green 1958 Chevy Biscayne, which he regretfully sold long ago. However, after buying a Corvette in 2009, he was smitten. Al and Gerri soon joined the Queen City Corvette Club, in which they were very active, and formed many wonderful friendships.
A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, August 1, 2021, at First Baptist Church of Monroe, with burial to follow at Lakeland Memorial Park.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, July 31, 2021, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Gordon Funeral Service, 1904 Lancaster Ave., Monroe, N.C., 28112.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Union County, 700 W. Roosevelt Blvd., Monroe, N.C. 28110, or First Baptist Church of Monroe, 109 W. Morrow Ave., Monroe, N.C. 28112.
Online condolences may be made to www.gordonfuneralservice.com.
Gordon Funeral Service and Crematory, 1904 Lancaster Ave., Monroe, N.C. 28112 is caring for the Kessel Family.