Article by Tracy Rennecker
Ellen Kessler, associate professor of computer information systems at HACC – Lancaster, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, June 29, 2012. Born in York, PA, on May 29, 1948, she was the daughter of the late Jack E.B. and Vernetta M. (Keller) Kessler. A funeral Mass was held to celebrate her life on Thursday, July 5, 2012, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Dallastown, PA. Kessler is survived by one sister and three brothers, sister Kathy Ness of Red Lion, PA, brothers, Edward Kessler, Timothy Kessler, and Thomas Kessler all of York, PA; 11 niece and nephews, two great-nieces, and three great-nephews.
According to Judy A. Sherwood, professor of early childhood education, Kessler had strong family ties. Her nieces and nephews were very important to her.
She was an avid reader and enjoyed the theater and movies. She also loved the beach, visiting Ocean City N.J. and Bethany Beach, Del., with friends several times a year.
“To say Ellen was committed to HACC would be an understatement!” said Sherwood.
“When I met her she was the interim dean for Lancaster campus. I watched her role change to a mentor for so many faculty. She chaired the Lancaster Campus Faculty Organization, organized a technology conference and participated in college in-services. She volunteered for every possible committee involving technology in higher education.”
“Ellen was a teacher. She spent endless hours developing and improving her courses. One of her greatest joys was attending and participating in the annual national Teaching Professor Conference. HACC students will remember her eagerness to help them to succeed. She met individually with students who needed assistance. This professor touched lives at HACC in a quiet, gentle manner. She enjoyed life and provided a professional example to live on for all of us,” said Sherwood.
Brittany Queen, a student of Kessler’s, said, “She got to the point when she was teaching, and I like that. She was very helpful and always made herself available.”
Gina Bowers-Miller, professor of counseling/CIS said, “Ellen always had a smile on her face, was willing to help out and was excited about creative ways to bring technology in the classroom. We were working on several projects together … I will miss you Ellen. You were a kind soul.”
Diane Mauro, associate professor of marketing/mgt. said, “Ellen was always there when you needed her and she helped me out many times. Ellen will be remembered as a kind soul who touched so many lives at the Lancaster Campus.”
A student scholarship is being developed in her name. Memorial donations to the scholarship fund can be mailed to The Ellen Kessler fund, HACC Foundation, One HACC Dr., Harrisburg, P.A. 17110.