CENTER LINE — Elizabeth Ann Kessler, 72, of Center Line, died on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, at St. John Hospital in Detroit, after a lengthy, hard fought, battle with cancer.

Elizabeth was born on Oct. 4, 1944, in Reed City, daughter of the late Russell and the late Ann (Kailing) Erbes. When Elizabeth initially pondered what career path she should follow, there must have been a tug on her heart that God was preparing her for something quite special ... the molding and mentoring of young hearts and lives as a teacher. It began with the position she accepted as an elementary school teacher at St. Mark's Catholic School in Warren. She taught at St. Mark's for three years before taking a new position as an elementary teacher for the Center Line Public Schools system, a career which would culminate in 39 years of service before accepting her well-deserved retirement. She poured her heart and soul into her work and the countless children who passed through her classes over the years. She was truly a dedicated teacher.

Following high school, Elizabeth attended Mercy College in Detroit, graduating Cum Laude with a degree in eEducation and later completed a Master's Degree, with a specialty in Education, from Marygrove College. Attending Mercy College provided Liz with many opportunities and experiences and one very special and blessed provision ... the man who would become her husband, Ronald Kessler. The two met during Elizabeth's senior year and this blossomed into a relationship that led them to the altar at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Reed City in 1966. She was 21 years old and the two newlyweds were blessed to share the next 50 years together, celebrating quietly this last Aug. 20, and also, share the joy of two sons, David, now of Troy, and Daniel, now of Phoenix.

Elizabeth and Ronald were professed into the Third Order of Secular Franciscans in 2014 and have been very active in the ministry of the Solanus Casey Center of Detroit. Liz also was an active member of the iconic “Red Hat Society,” a cadre of women who throw on the red hat, and head out for food, fellowship and fun. Liz also was a longtime member of the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority for Retired Teachers. Liz loved to travel and spent considerable time covering her own home State of Michigan. Elizabeth was so excited, that in the midst of many hospitalizations this last year, that she was able to walk the Mackinac Bridge (Dave and Dan pushed her in the wheelchair and then with a walker, walked the last few steps), on Labor Day with Ron, her two sons and two grandchildren. She proudly displayed her participation certificate next to one that she had from 1958, the first year of the bridge walk.

Liz had a passion for genealogy, tracing her family back to the beginning. She loved history and what it meant for her family and getting to know who was a part of the Erbes, Kailing and Kessler families. It was family that brought her the greatest joy. From Ludington excursions, to Boblo Island, to Cedar Point, Lake Ocqueoc camping, Evart family camping weekends, Mackinaw Bridge walks, The Deer Camp in Morley, Boyne Mountain Stays, cross country ski trips to the U.P., Arizona trips — especially Sedona and the Grand Canyon, Monarch butterfly watching at Point Pelee, Saginaw trips, Tonk tournaments, New Hampshire moose expeditions, family reunions and the many, many family birthday, anniversary and holiday celebrations for which Liz organized and loved to provide food for all of us. Liz was the organizer and cook for these events and in the midst of that, she was our beloved photographer. We will miss her saying, “Just one more picture.” A most important part of family, for Liz and Ron in the last six years, has been Trooper, their faithful dog companion who has joined all family adventures.

Elizabeth was the loving wife of Ron; dear mother of David and Dan; beloved grandmother of Deven and Darian; cherished sister of Marie Taylor, Frances Postema, Joann Erbes, Suzanne Erbes and and both the late Rusell Erbes, Jr. and Barbara Kingsbury. She was a loved sister-in-law to Jean, Sherry, Sue, Johanna and Jeannete; brothers-in-law Larry and Ted. Elizabeth also was a special aunt, great-aunt and great-great-aunt to many. Elizabeth's love was as vast as the oceans and her compassion ran deep. With God as her guide, faith as her strength, and a beloved soulmate by her side, Elizabeth was truly a teacher to all and an inspiration that touched a multitude of hearts and lives along the way. She will be missed immensely, yet remembered affectionately with each reflection shared. May she rest in peace.

Donations may be made in her honor to The Capuchin Mission Association, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207.