Gladys Kessler


February 8, 1917 - May 10, 2017


Gladys Kessler, 100, of Mitchell, died May 10, 2017 at Sunquest Healthcare Center in Huron.  Services will be 10:00 AM Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell. Burial will be at Holy Three Kings Cemetery in Epiphany. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 PM Friday at the Bittner Funeral Chapel, with a 7:00 PM prayer service.

Gladys Ringen was born February 8, 1917 on a farm north of Fulton SD, the second of ten children, to Fred and Bessie (Good) Ringen. She married James Kessler on January 16, 1939. They made their home 2 ½ miles east of Epiphany where they farmed. Gladys and James had five children. As a couple, they loved to farm, fish and dance, which they enjoyed until their mid-eighties. The only activities Gladys participated in without James were belonging to the Happy Mother’s Club and the Epiphany Altar Society.

She loved being able to cook meals and taking care of someone other than herself.  She was a wonderful seamstress, making clothes and quilts. James and Gladys hosted up to 12 hunters each October providing three meals a day, a place to sleep and hunt. This built a lifelong friendship between the Kessler family and the hunters.

Gladys marveled at the changes she saw in her lifetime. She believed no other generation will ever see that kind of progress. Computers amazed her and she was thankful for a machine which allowed her family to send emails to her. Gladys recalled the Great Depression as being the worst event happening in history during her lifetime. Her worst personal loss was the loss of her son, Harland.

She and James moved to Mitchell in 1990.  At the age of 80 she continued using her sewing talents by becoming the seamstress for the Toggery Store. She held the job for 15 years.  The last years of her life were spent in the loving care of the staff at Countryside Living.  She attributed her long life to keeping busy, working side by side farming with her husband and doing things for herself, even re-arranging the furniture in her apartment by herself before her 99th birthday.

What a thrill it was for her to spend her 100th birthday with family and friends.  She enjoyed talking about that day and looking at the pictures of the party. 

Grateful for having shared her life are daughter-in-law, Betty Kessler, Luverne, MN, her children Angie Kessler, Sioux Falls, SD, Pam Kessler, Inner Heights, MN, Dr. Kevin (Heidi) Kessler, Brookings, SD, son Gerald (Joan) Kessler of Ft Pierre, SD and their sons, Mark Kessler, Gettysburg, SD,  Bruce (Debi) Kessler, Pierre, SD. Daughter Carol (Owen) Angstrom of Stratford, IA and their children, Melissa Angstrom, Ames, IA and Alan (Jillian) Angstrom, Ft. Dodge, IA. Daughter Doris (Dan) Ziegler, Spearfish, SD and their children Adam (Ashley) Ziegler, Brian (Suzie) Ziegler both of Spearfish and Capt. Ann (Mark) Lanari of Colorado Springs, Co. Daughter Lois (Russ) Stroud, Huron, SD and their children, Keith (Heidi) Stroud of Iroquois, SD and Leah (Beau) Murphy of Huron, SD. 19 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.  Special nephew Gene Kessler and wife Jackie.  Sisters-in-law, Ann Ringen and Rosalee Ringen.  Also, special friends, Mary Lou and Chuck Balcom and Dave Mutziger who made it possible to live independently for so long. And many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband James, oldest son Harland, and 9 siblings.


Friday, May 12, 2017
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, SD 57301

Prayer Service Begins at 7:00 PM.


Saturday, May 13, 2017
10:00 AM
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
1401 W Cedar Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301


Holy Three Kings Cemetery
Epiphany, South Dakota

Posted by Dick and Carol Kunkel on May 11, 2017
What a wonderful lady. She will be sewing for God now. I don't think I ever thanked her for being so nice to me when Dick and I first moved to the farm and started going to church in Epiphany and working with the ladies for the Altar Soc.. She made me feel so welcome. Loved playing cards with her and James. Not everyone gets a great Mother, but you had one of the best. May Gods Blessings be with all of you.
Posted by Rhonda Broski on May 11, 2017
Gladys was such an amazing friend. She will be missed. My prayers are with your entire family.
Sign Gladys Kessler's Guestbook
Your Name