Virginia Starr Kessel age 95, formerly of Richmond, died following a short illness on Sunday June 14, 2020 at her residence, the Sundara Memory Care Center in Round Rock, Tx.
Virginia Kessel, known to her friends as Ginny was born on November 25, 1924 in Richmond, Indiana. She was the daughter of Philip H. Starr and Eleanor Seidel Starr. She was preceded in death by her husband John Jeffrey Kessel (2005) and her brother William S. Starr (2016). Virginia was a graduate of Richmond High School and Columbia College for Women (now Columbia College) in Columbia, Mo.
In September, 1946, Virginia married returning World War II veteran John Jeffrey Kessel (Capt. Army Air Corps) of New Castle, IN. They made their home in Detroit, Michigan, where they raised four children. In 1980 they moved to Indianapolis, IN and after John’s retirement from the Norton Company, relocated to The Woodlands, Tx. Following John’s death in 2005, Virginia lived in the Forum, an independent assisted living facility until shortly after her ninetieth birthday when a fall and concomitant cognitive decline required increasing levels of care.
Virginia will be remembered by her family and friends as a lively and entertaining conversationalist who loved nothing better than visiting with her close friends, children and grandchildren. She had a life long interest in literature, history, art and sports. In her early teens, she stayed up all night to read “Gone With the Wind” in one sitting. In high school she traveled the back roads of basketball-mad Indiana in long caravans to follow her high school team a la the movie “Hoosiers.” In the same era she danced to the music of the big bands that barnstormed the middle west and swooned as a “bobby soxer” to the dulcet tones of a young Frank Sinatra.
As a young mother, Virginia read extensively to her children from the works of A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh) and James Whitcomb Riley (the Hoosier Poet). With a talent for the visual arts, Virginia crafted many excellent pieces of decoupage (the art of decorating objects with paper cut-outs).
In the age of letter writing, Virginia carried on an amusing and informative correspondence with friends and family. An avid gardener in her middle life, Virginia cultivated many varieties of plants and flowers in her favorite rock garden in Detroit as well as gardens in Indianapolis and the Woodlands.
Virginia will be missed, and fondly remembered by her family and friends for her unflagging loyalty, unconditional love, selflessness and generosity. She was our rock and our guiding star, always encouraging us simply to do what was right.
Virginia is survived by her children, including Phil Kessel (m. Libby Costello) of Arlington, Virginia, Jeff Kessel of Austin, Texas, John Kessel (m. Tricia Kessel) of N. Richland Hills, Texas, and Eleanor Stone of The Woodlands, Texas. Her grandchildren include Jeff Kessel of Brooklyn, New York, Tricia Stone McAdams, M.D. (m. John McAdams) of El Paso, TX, Lauren Kessel of Dallas, Texas, Michael Stone of Phoenix, Arizona, and Phil Kessel of Haltom City, Texas. She is survived by two great grandchildren James Hollis McAdams and Emily Starr McAdams of El Paso, TX.