Saturday, April 3, 2021

 Barbara J. Keesler

On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Barbara went to be with her Lord. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles Keesler and daughter Jennifer Keesler, in addition to her parents Mahlon and Alice (Kleckler) Pearce and sister Helen (Ivan) Taber.

Surviving relatives include:daughter Cindy (Fred) Denby and son Jim (Patti) Keesler. In addition, she had three grandchildren; Angela (Dan) Belanger, Brandon (Shelby) Denby and Mitchell (Kristi) Keesler. She also had seven great grandchildren. She loved being a grandmother and enjoyed many special events and memories with each of them.

Barbara was born on June 3, 1931 in Oak Grove, Michigan where she grew up as a child. Her parents were the owners of the local grocery store (Pearce’s Store), and she learned early on some of the tasks to help in the store such as inventory and cashing out customers. She met her husband, Charles “Chuck” Keesler, at an early age as he too lived in the Oak Grove community, near the family store.

She started her education in the Oak Grove county school and graduated from Howell High School. On July 1, 1950, she married Chuck Keesler, and they enjoyed over 65 years together prior to his death.

Early on Barbara utilized her secretarial skills with part-time jobs for Howell Schools and the Howell Elks Club. Then in 1969 she and Chuck purchased the local furniture store in Fowlerville which was renamed to Keesler Furniture. She worked at the family business for many years and enjoyed getting to know many community members after the family moved to the Fowlerville area.

Years later, Chuck decided to become a standardbred (harness) horse owner and eventually a trainer. After the death of their daughter Jennifer, Barbara also got involved in the standardbred horse business and became a successful trainer as well. Over the years they trained 25 standardbred horses which included some impressive record holders; with one being a world record holder. In addition, she served as the treasurer for the Fowlerville Harness Horsemen’s Association.

Barbara never missed an opportunity to celebrate holidays, birthdays and special times together with her family. Her other interests included working on dinners at the Fowlerville First United Methodist Church, spending time with friends, quilting, cooking and playing card games. She was strong, giving, modest and loved. Her red velvet cake was the best of the best.

Funeral arrangements for Barbara are through MacDonald’s Funeral Home in Howell. A “Celebration of Life” is scheduled for Monday, April 5, with visitation hours being 10:00am-2:00pm at the funeral home. A private family cemetery service will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that memorials be sent to the Fowlerville First United Methodist Church or the Genesis House in Fowlerville. The family would like to thank the community who has been so supportive during this time.

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