Bom-Wrapper

Shirley Kessler

Shirley Bassing Kessler

Saturday, August 15th, 2020
Recommend this to your friends.
Share via:

Sign in to the Family Interactive Login

The Family Interactive feature enhances An Amazing Life. Authorized family members can securely access their loved one's memorial website settings at any time.

Share Book of Memories with a Friend

Please enter the name and email details so that we can send your friend a link to the online tribute. No names or addresses will be collected by using this service.

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

To leave condolences for Shirley Kessler's online memorial, sign in using one of the following options:

Sign in with Facebook

OR

Sign in with your email address

Your condolence has been posted successfully

Provide comfort for the family by sending flowers or planting a tree in memory of Shirley Kessler

No Thanks

Contact Funeral Home

Please enter your question or comment below:

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

Shirley's Tribute Fund

  •  Full Name
  •  Initials
  •  Anonymous
By continuing, you agree with the terms and privacy policy.

Shirley's Tribute Fund

There may be a delay while processing. Please do not click the back button or refresh while a payment is processing.

Obituary

Shirley Kessler, an inspiration who lived her life as the embodiment of kindness and empathy, passed away in Kennebunk, Maine on August 15, 2020.

A passionate educator, wife, mother, and friend, Shirley was a prominent member of the Block Island, RI community, and also of the Sons and Daughters of Ruth congregation there. Shirley was an extraordinary woman who served as a school administrator in mainland Rhode Island.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island to Samuel I. and Minnie (Horowitz) Bassing, Shirley graduated from Hope High School, then earned her BA at Rhode Island College, her MA from Boston University, and EdD from Walden University.

Shirley began her career as an educator as a first grade teacher in Attleboro, Massachusetts, but after earning her Master’s Degree she began teaching at Rhode Island College, where she developed a wholistic approach to evaluating children, a program which was a precursor to many of today’s methods of assessing students who may need some form(s) of special education support.

From there Shirley moved to the East Providence, RI school district, where she was an administrator who oversaw and supervised the district’s reading curriculum and programming while simultaneously serving at various times as adjunct professor of education at Salve Regina, Providence, and Rhode Island Colleges.

Shirley had a lifelong affinity for Block Island, where she was first brought as an infant to visit a home owned by her Aunt Julia and Uncle Joe Marcus. Some years later she introduced her future husband, Sanford, to the island, and by the middle of the 20th century the two of them were spending their summers there. In the 1970s they bought the building that had previously housed the Primitive Methodist Church, and when they retired in 1990 moved there permanently. Shirley was an extraordinarily involved citizen of the Block Island community who served on the school committee and tourism council for many years. She also began the “Friends of the Library” and regularly volunteered at the annual “Roll Call Dinner” at Block Island’s Harbor Church.

Shirley’s husband Sanford B. Kessler, to whom she was happily married for 52 years, predeceased her in 2000. She is survived by two children, both of whom she treasured, and who cherished her: her daughter Fran Kessler of Kennebunk, Maine and her son Samuel and his wife Evelyn, of Haymarket, Virginia. She is also survived by her cousin, Joyce Aaron, of Orleans, Massachusetts.

There will be a graveside service in the Spring of 2021 on Block Island.

Those wishing to make memorial donations in Shirley’s honor should direct them to the Block Island Library, the Block Island Historical Society, and/or Block Island Medical Center.
Read Less

Sign Up for Notifications

Receive notifications about information and event scheduling for Shirley
No funeral details available.

Condolences

We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Shirley here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

No video recorded.

Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Shirley
Loading...

Photos & Videos

Photo Album

Upload up to 10 images at a time, max 8MB each
Share by: