Kathleen “Kathy” Gessner, 79

Kathleen “Kathy” Gessner, 79, of Waseca, died from cancer on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca.

Born on January 30, 1941, in Richland Township, Rice County, Minnesota, Kathy was the daughter of Joseph and Marion (Slocum) Keilen. She grew up on a farm with her parents and her older brother, Jim, and graduated from Montgomery-Lonsdale High School in 1958. 

After graduation, Kathy moved to New Ulm for work and was baptized on May 27, 1962, at St Paul’s Lutheran Church, New Ulm. Kathy married William Franklin Gessner on July 21, 1963, in St. Peter. They lived in North Carolina for several years while Bill served in the Marine Corps before moving to Waseca.  

They later moved to rural Janesville where they raised their two daughters and her beloved pets.

Kathy worked as the volunteer coordinator at the Janesville Nursing Home in the 1980s. Most recently, many knew her as The Demo Lady at Hilltop Hy-Vee in Mankato.

She loved to travel, especially cruises and trips to Colorado, and was a faithful volunteer in her community, whether it was with the JWP schools and Community Education, Girls Scouts or 4-H, Relay for Life or FarmAmerica. 

Kathy loved flowers and gardening, and was a U of MN Certified Master Gardener.

She was a long-time active member of Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville. When she moved to Waseca in 2015, she became a member of St. John Lutheran Church.

Kathy was happiest when having coffee with family and friends, and doting on her two granddaughters.

  She is survived by her two daughters, Ann (David) Hill of Bloomington and Amy (Scott) Hanson of Brooklyn Park; and two granddaughters, Emma and Nora Hanson. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Mavis Keilen of Faribault, Ruby Gessner of Nicollet, and Deloris Moats of Arizona; many special nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and brother.

  Visitation will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the State Street Chapel of Dennis Funeral & Cremation Services in Waseca. 

Private family services are being held. Burial will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Dennis Funeral & Cremation Services
109 3rd St. NE
Waseca, MN  56093


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