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Jean A. (Gross) Kessler
April 16, 1921 ~ August 25, 2023 (age 102) 102 Years Old
Jean A. (Gross) Kessler, 102, of Bethlehem, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 25, 2023. She was the wife of the late Donald A. Kessler. Born in Reading, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Anna (Hammes) Gross. Moving to Bethlehem at a very young age, she became a lifelong resident and supporter of the city of Bethlehem. She was a member of Christ Church United Church of Christ in Bethlehem. Jean was a graduate of the Liberty High School Class of 1938, for which she helped organize class reunions for over 70 years. She went on to further her education at Bethlehem Business College. Throughout her life Jean was actively involved with the Bethlehem community. Her involvement began with her first full-time job at the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce in 1940, where she worked for 16 years. She then took a job with the College Placement Council as Managing Editor, holding that position for 22 years until her retirement in 1978.
During these working years she was actively volunteering with Historic Bethlehem and the Bach Choir. She was secretary of the Bethlehem Community Concert Association and a volunteer and board treasurer for the Friends of Music. In the early 1980’s she returned to where she started and began volunteering for the Chamber of Commerce. Her focus became tourism, serving as Chair of the Tourism Committee. This evolved into her association with the Citizens Christmas City Committee and the Advent Breakfast Committee. In the mid-80’s Jean started Music in the Old Chapel, which brought concerts to the residents, visitors and shoppers in downtown Bethlehem. During this time she was also treasurer of the Bethlehem Tourism Authority. Finally, Jean was a member of the Sun Inn Preservation Association board until 2016. She was awarded the Spirit of Bethlehem Award by the Chamber of Commerce in 2015. Jean enjoyed singing and sang with the St. Luke’s Chorus. She was a member of the Lehigh Valley Bonsai Society and the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Wine Society.
She is survived by her daughter, Darcy Kessler Lettieri, two grandchildren, Anne Winikates and Michael Lettieri, and three great-grandchildren, Liliana and Nicolas Lettieri and Gavin Winikates.
A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Jean’s arrangements have been entrusted to the Cantelmi Long Funeral Home, Bethlehem. A memory tribute may be placed at www.cantelmifuneralhome.com, and information about a celebration of her life will also be placed there.