Posted by: pastordiehl   in Uncategorized

Leon Kessler passed away last night. Leon, also known as Arthur, and Esther were a part of our church many years. Leon was a blessing to me. He was a World War 2 veteran who was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the attack on December 7, 1941. He spent his time in the marines going from island to island in the Pacific freeing them from Japanese control. He saw a lot of combat and returned home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Leon was not a church goer and was pretty rough around the edges. But, he had a conversion experience in the 1980s that dramatically changed him. Although he understood that all his sins were under the blood of Christ, he had haunting memories of the things he had seen and done in World War 2 that bothered him up to the end. He and I joked about it, but we both knew this was a very real battle for him.

Leon didn’t trust church leadership or the government. On several occasions he gave me a financial gift in cash, because he was afraid the church or the government would keep part of it and he didn’t want any record to be turned in as taxable income.

My fondest memory of Leon was when my sons and I took him to the Garrett theater to see ‘Pearl Harbor’ when it was first released. Fortunately, it was a Monday night and only three other people in the theater, because Leon spoke his opinions right out loud: “Why, they’re killing way too many people!” and “That never happened!”.

What will you remember about Leon Kessler?


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