August 3, 2020
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Elizabeth M. ‘Liz’ Kessler


Published July 08, 2020

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Elizabeth M. “Liz” Kessler of Branford died June 13 at the Gladeview Nursing Center in Old Saybrook. She was the beloved widow of John J. Kessler, Sr. Liz was born in Lexington, Massachusetts, Nov. 1, 1930, a daughter of the late Annie and John Joseph Coyne, and had been a resident of Branford for most of her life.

Liz is survived by her children John J. Kessler, Jr., (Kathy), Karen Palmisano (Al), and Cheryl Milovich (late husband Tim); her grandchildren Kayleen, Karlee, Zachary, Andrew (Kathy), Kelly (Mike), and David; and her nieces and nephews Rob (Les), Brian (Carol), Kathy (Scott), Stuart (Carol) and Patty. She was predeceased by her brother Joe Coyne and sister Nancy O’Neil.

Liz was extremely dedicated to her family and worked tirelessly to instill great family values, good education, and kindness to everyone. She always put others ahead of herself. She provided unconditional love to all of her grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Known for her meticulous record keeping, Liz would always mail a card or gift when birthdays, holidays, and special events came up for her family. She was proud of her Catholic faith and served on the St. Mary Parish Council for many years. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed the hundreds of times she would get together with all of her friends to play the game she loved so much. Anywhere, anytime, was her motto when it came to playing bridge.

Liz worked as a part time bookkeeper while her children went to school during their younger years as she always wanted to be home when they left for school and returned. A couple of places that she worked were the old Summit House Restaurant in Branford and the Madison Glass Company. After her children got older, she worked for many years as the office manager for the Kilpatrick, Kahl and Josephson law firm. Among the lawyers she worked with there were John Donegan, Chris Edmonds, Mike Whelan, Dave Gibson, and many others. Her fellow workers and dear friends at the firm included Annie Freund, Sally Hayes, Susie Maddern, among others. Liz loved watching the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and UConn girls and always enjoyed attending all of her grandchildren’s sporting events and special activities.

Her son John would like to say thank you to the Gladeview Rehabilitation & Nursing Home for their love and support over the last couple of months of Liz’s life. They were so loving and caring and it made things so much more peaceful. A special thanks to Debbie Van Der Maelen (John’s sister-in-law) who overlooks the operation at Gladeview.

A private graveside funeral ceremony for family and close friends was held at St. Agnes Cemetery. There will be a special Mass and reception celebrating Liz’s life in a couple of months when the pandemic restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Orchard House, 421 Shore Dr., Branford, CT 06405. Arrangements by W.S. Clancy Memorial Funeral Home, Branford. For an online memorial and guest book, see

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