Colleen Kesler, 86, of Nyssa Oregon died of natural causes on the 19th of May. Services will be held on May 26, 2023, at the Nyssa Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A viewing will be held on the 26th from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Nyssa’s Hilltop Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Lienkaemper Chapel.
Colleen was born September 5, 1936, in Ogden, Utah, to Samuel Lionel and Thora Munn Moore. Colleen had an older brother (Gerald) and a younger brother (Jack). In 1953 Colleen was a National Rifle Association’s Junior Champion and she was on the 1953-1954 High School Rifle Team. Colleen graduated from Davis High School in May of 1954. She then worked as a bookkeeper for the Commercial Security Bank in Ogden Utah from June of 1954 to March of 1956.
In the spring of 1956, the family moved to Nyssa, Oregon. Colleen met Clarence Ray Kesler, Jr. while on a date with Jerry Williams, one of C.R.’s best friends. C.R. and Colleen had a whirl-wind romance and they were sealed on November 15, 1956, in the Salt Lake City Utah Temple. They settled in Nyssa where C.R. milked dairy cows and farmed, and Colleen worked for a bank in Nyssa. In 1957 they had their first child and Colleen chose to be a full-time mother. She helped C.R. on the farm by doing the bookkeeping, driving the corn truck, and keeping C.R. fed!! For a time she also worked the grave-yard shift at Ore-Ida. Colleen always had a large garden and bottled hundreds of bottles of peaches, pears, green beans, tomatoes, tomato juice, apricots, apple pie filling, apple juice, pickled beets, onions, and relish. She made home-made freezer jams, frozen fruit cocktail, and froze many quarts of home-grown corn every year.
Colleen was a devout member of the LDS Church. She served as a Nyssa Stake Missionary, as a counselor, and then as Relief Society President, and in various callings in the Primary and Young Women organizations. She played the organ and piano for church and for funeral services for many, many years.
Colleen loved riding horses, camping, elk hunting, traveling with friends, and shopping. Her mother and father taught her a great love of flowers and she spent countless hours in her yard growing beautiful flowers. Colleen also loved to sew clothing and over the years she designed and sewed many outfits for her children and also a couple of square-dancing costumes for her square-dancing group. In her later years, she perfected her crocheting skills and she made baby blankets, jackets, and dresses for her grandchildren.
Her greatest joy in life was her family. She loved having large family get-togethers and always cooked huge meals so nobody would go hungry. She loved watching her family circle grow and babies lit up her eyes…even during her final few days.
Colleen and C.R.’s union was blessed with six children. She is survived by her loving husband of 66 years, their children and spouses: Paul (Rene’), Lynn (Shelly), Scott (Brenda), Kathy (Nathan), Karla (Brian), and Corey (Jerri), 42 grandchildren, and 34 great-grandchildren.