Col. Alex Marlin Kessel, 89, passed away peacefully at his home in Fairfield on September 22, 2021. Alex was born September 5, 1932, in Petersburg, West Virginia. He was the youngest of 12 children to Elsie (Hull) Kessel and Evers Kessel. He was predeceased most recently by his sister Elaine Milley, and brothers Earl L. Kessel and Elton (Mutt) L. Kessel.
Alex was a graduate of Gettysburg High School, Class of 1950. After high school Alex attended the ROTC program at Gettysburg College and entered the United States Air Force. He became a navigator and was stationed at Willow Grove Naval Air Station where he flew the C119 Flying Boxcar. After 15 years active duty he retired and joined the West Virginia Air National Guard unit at Martinsburg, West Virginia, where he was a navigator on the C130 Hercules for 16 years.
Alex is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jane (Scholl) Kessel; and sons, Russell Kessel (Carol) of Gettysburg, and Howie Kessel (Karen Kramer) of Fairfield; granddaughter, Amanda Thomas, and great-grandsons, Aiden Butler and Kasen Kunkle, all of Dillsburg, Pa.; and a number of nieces and nephews. Alex was also known as “Pop” to Nate, Olivia and Ethan Messick, children of Rachel and Kyle Messick.
Alex was a member of the Lower Marsh Creek Presbyterian Church, a past member of the Gettysburg Civic Chorus, life member of the Fairfield Amvets, Adams County Fish and Game Association, New Oxford Social Club, and the American Legion at Gettysburg. He also served on the Franklin Township Board of Supervisors as chairman for 12 years.
Alex was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved gardening and spending time with family. Alex was most proud of the farm he purchased in 1961 on Old Route 30 above Cashtown. Over the years he raised sheep, grew 30 acres of tomatoes, and in 1979 he planted 60,000 Christmas trees and he and Jane started the 7 Springs Tree Farm which they operated together until 2000.
Alex will be sadly missed by his family and everyone who knew him.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at 11 a.m. from Lower Marsh Creek Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Dr. Mark Englund-Krieger officiating. Interment with full military honors will be in Evergreen Cemetery following the service. There will be a viewing at Monahan Funeral Home in Gettysburg on Monday, September 27, 2021, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and on Tuesday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warriors Project at support.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Online obituary and condolences available at monahanfuneralhome.com.