Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 28, 2013

Rita I. Kiessel Died Aug. 26, 2013

SUTTONS BAY — Rita Irma Kiessel, 93, of Suttons Bay, passed away Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, at Tendercare of Leelanau surrounded by her loving family.

Rita was born Nov. 18, 1919, in Suttons Bay, the daughter of John and Barbara (Hahnenberg) Priest. On Sept. 26, 1939, at St. Michael’s Parish of Suttons Bay, she married her loving husband of 58 years, Frank G. Kiessel Sr., who preceded her in death on April 29, 1998.

Rita was one of the founding members of the Friendship Community Center.

She worked for RSVP, TJ’s, Tru Fit, Leelanau Fruit Co. and Home Café & Kroupa’s.

Rita was an accomplished quilter, played bingo and cards, and she loved to get together with her family and friends. At age 78 to show her children the importance of education, Rita worked and studied hard, with the help of her grandchildren, and earned her G.E.D.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff of Tendercare of Leelanau for their compassionate care of our dearest Rita.

We are celebrating all of Rita Kiessel’s 93 years with the Kiessel clan. Thank you, Grandma, for being a role model and teaching the importance of community service, lifelong learning and family. The lessons are gifts that keep on giving through us while you rest.

Rita is survived by her nine children, Willard (Elizabeth) Kiessel, Frank (Marilu) Kiessel, Janet (Ronald) Send, Donovan (Janet) Kiessel, Randall Kiessel, Gary (Betty) Kiessel, Victor (Janice Sue) Kiessel, Susan (Gary) Herman and Jason (Keri) Kiessel; two sisters-in-law, Jane Priest and Martha Kovarik Brown; 46 grandchildren; 52 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her siblings, Marie Stiemel, Gerald, Gordon, Ernie, Willard Priest, Bertha Kolarik, Ella Herman, Louise Herman and Emil Priest.

Visitation will be held today, Aug. 28, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay, with the rosary to be prayed at 7 p.m. The Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, at St. Michael’s Parish of Suttons Bay. Father Leonard Paul will serve as celebrant. Burial in St. Michael’s Cemetery will follow the Mass. A lunch will be served in the church center.

Memorials may be directed to Friendship Community Center, PO Box 51, Suttons Bay, MI 49682 and/or Mass Intentions.

Please share memories with Rita’s family on their online guestbook at

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.



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