With sadness we officially announce the passing of Stephanie Kessler, our loving and
devoted mother and friend to so many, on June 26, 2022, due to respiratory failure from COVID
Stephanie Ann Kessler was born on July 29, 1948, to Amelia Ann Majchrowski and Fred
Ashberry Kessler. She attended Christ the King Catholic School and Bishop Ward High School in
Kansas City. Following a one-year sentence at Saint Mary College (an all-girls school at the time)
in Leavenworth, KS, she transferred to the University of Kansas, home of her beloved Jayhawks.
We assume that, even in the afterlife, she has still not quite forgiven Roy Williams for leaving
his post as Kansas basketball coach more than 20 years ago.
Stephanie spent nearly all of her career as an elementary school art teacher, retiring from the
Farmington Public School District in Farmington/Farmington Hills, MI. Although we did not
inherit one ounce of her artistic ability, she still wouldn’t buy us coloring books lest it stifle our
minimal creativity. Our deficiencies aside, she did inspire countless other children to pursue
their creative talents in the “zen-like” atmosphere of her art room.
Stephanie enjoyed an impressively active social life and was the ultimate friendship-maintainer.
Several of her childhood friends are still our “aunties.” If she knew you, she had your birthday
written down on a paper calendar and she had that birthday card in the mail 2 weeks early.
During the pandemic, she and her neighborhood friends started a happy hour group that met
outdoors weekly and involved wine, an occasional snowman, and always a lot of laughs.
Stephanie was active in the Unity church for more than 40 years and most recently was a
member of her beloved women’s group, Sisters in Spirit, through Unity Spiritual Center Denver.
Stephanie loved to travel but did not feel she had the means for international travel until after
retirement. Though she visited Spain, Italy, and Ireland (twice, with plans of returning thwarted
by the pandemic), she had a lot more geography on her bucket list. In addition to her love of
Jayhawks basketball (only allowing herself extended cable TV during college basketball season),
she enjoyed Irish music, quirky foreign indie films, sunflowers, The Wizard of Oz, PBS
Masterpiece, going to the mountains, spending hours on the phone keeping in touch with
friends, spoiling her grand-pets, buying a preposterous number of black stretch pants, eating
half a cookie and putting the other half back for later, and very slowly sipping one, maybe two
Fireball shots at parties. She hated sitting still, being late, cooking, and wearing skirts or
It must also be mentioned that Stephanie fought cancer with quiet dignity, surviving two
harrowing experiences with mantle cell lymphoma. Stephanie leaves behind and is sorely
missed by daughters Sarah Foley (and husband Ryan), Pamela Stebbins (and husband Gary),
sister Mary Alice Lee (and husband Palmer), sister-cousin Lois Bol, nieces Catherine Lee
and Elizabeth Cook, a menagerie of grand-pets who miss their “Grammy” and a countless number of
extended family and friends. All who knew Stephanie’s sweet soul loved her dearly and will
never forget her quiet feistiness, strong will and determination that only occasionally bordered
on stubbornness, her equal parts dark sense of humor and sweet silliness, charitable heart with
a passion for social justice, and total love for and devotion to her friends and family, especially
her two daughters.
Stephanie was sustainably water cremated. An irreverent and totally non-denominational
Celebration of Life will be held in Stephanie’s honor in Golden, Colorado on August 25, 2022. If
you are interested in attending in person or virtually, please email email@example.com.