Lawrence Kiesel

Obituary of Lawrence Kiesel

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Lawrence Anthony Kiesel 1931- 2023 Our dad left us early Sunday morning as he wished– peacefully, without pain, and surrounded by every one of his five girls. We celebrate him and a meaningful impactful life. Dad didn't like what was happening to him toward the end of his life but none of his physical decline and dependence diminished him in our eyes. We see him as he always was: a big and strong presence, our protector, our teacher and a man who could build anything, fix anything, endure anything. It feels like the end of an era as there doesn't seem to be many more like him. Part of the "silent generation" of hard workers, responsible citizens, and loyal friends, he was a Long Island farm boy still recognizable by accent, interest, and physicality into his 90s. He was big, strong, and quiet but had a quick wit and an extremely silly side. He taught us how to fish, how to be financially responsible, how to clear a forest path, how to be independent, how to pick potatoes, how to fix things. At the same time he entertained us. He had nonsense songs, silly walks, and funny faces (the latter especially welcome when we were being chastised by mom). He renamed the dogs on a daily basis and gave them furious head massages (to stimulate thought) that they adored. We adored him. He never seemed to get mad. He had a sense of fun. He was a safe place. He was home. He was the quintessential dad–always driving the worst cars, never considering moving closer to a distant workplace so as not to disrupt our lives, helping with science fair projects, playing catch after long days of work, buying perfume and roses for his girls on Valentine's Day, installing safety ladders in apartments, moving us in and moving us out, taking our pets when we left home, supporting our decisions, bailing us out of trouble, and showing up when he didn't know how else to help. He was also a man of many nicknames and talents. He was Sonny, the oldest son of a german potato farmer who chose to leave the farm but never lost his love for the land and knack for growing things. He was a chemical specialist in the army during the Korean War whose memories included realizing a lifelong dream of playing football and getting to be the guy on the stretcher for war drills. He was dubbed Sauer Kraut (we can only assume an eventual name of endearment) when he started dating my mom, the love of his life whom he never stopped missing and trying to please even after her passing 21 years before his. He was a patented chemist and the last survivor of a corporate buyout. He was Lawrence of Suburbia who built half our home from the foundation up, mowed the lawn at rabbit speed, delighted in clearing snow after winter storms, landscaped an otherwise barren lot, wrestled with septic systems, and nurtured a garden so prolific that mail carriers, repair persons, and other visitors were invariably bestowed with zucchini. He was Mr. Christmas who did Christmas Eve trips to Kiddie City because there weren't enough presents under the tree (there were) and mourned the year that we were too old for dolls. He was the uncontested winner of the annual "Husband of the Year" award presented by the wives of Sunnyside Drive. He was self monikered "Luiz Crustacean" ? for reasons lost to memory but reflective of his silly nature, sense of humor and most likely love of shellfish. He was an adventurer. He loved to travel, especially to the great outdoors and the sea. Many of us can still recall being roused out of bed early on a summer morning at the bungalow on Jefferson Avenue by my dad's cry "The blues are running" or the sunny days drowsing on his homemade boat with a drop line in our hands. Most of our vacations were loading up the station wagon/trailer and heading north to look for "land to retire on". He found it on the rugged coastline of Nova Scotia where he and Mom built a home and a community whose legacy endures today. He is fondly remembered by the seafaring hamlet of McAra's Brook, and the home they designed and built welcomes a new generation including 4 little girls. A windswept white clapboard church on a hill looking toward Prince Edward Island will be his final resting place with Mom holding his place and his pants (inside joke). In short, he was our hero. He loved us equally and well, even above his own needs, even when he didn't understand, even without my Mom's help, even when he was old and tired. We will miss him every day and wonder how we got so lucky. Thank you for knowing, appreciating, and loving my dad. We plan a memorial for my Dad sometime in the summer of 2024 in Nova Scotia, Canada. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for acts of kindness to honor Lawrence. Please consider making a memorial donation to one of Lawrence's favorite charities: Habitat for Humanity - World Central Kitchen - Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital - Christ House Arlington Diocese - or Any local food bank.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Lawrence
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Evoy Funeral Home
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Lawrence Kiesel

In Loving Memory

Lawrence Kiesel

1931 - 2023

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