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Denver O. Kessler

In Loving Memory of:

Daniel (Denver) Owen Kessler

September 1957 – October 2019


Daniel (Denver) Kessler was born in Grants Pass, OR, in September 1957, died in Portland, OR, in October, 2019; at 62 years old. His father, Ora O. Kessler, and  his mother Marilyn E. (Thayer) Pfaendler, are both residents of Laurel Cemetery near Cave Junction.

Denver was raised with three older brothers, mostly on Rockydale Road south of Cave Junction. This property was a short walk through dense woods to the home of his maternal grandmother, Frieda (Carter) Thayer.  It was from Frieda and her good friend, Al Hobart, that Denver caught his love of hiking the local mountains, several of which Frieda served upon as a Forest Service look-out tower operator.  Denver continued hiking the region up to a couple years before his death.

Denver attended Evergreen Elementary School.  High School years were split between Illinois Valley High School (buildings are now Lorna Byrne Middle School), and Community Christian Academy in Cave Junction.  Denver competed in several distance track events with IVHS students, and set new records, breaking his brother Jack’s records.  Though he did not graduate with his Class of 1975, he later earned his GED.

Denver spent many years in the Renton, WA area.  There, he married and had his only child. He fed his hiking appetite by joining a group of friends, “The Camping Crew”.  After the marriage failed, he drifted into the Spokane, WA, area.  Some years later, he moved to the areas just east of Portland, OR, in Brightwood, and Gresham.

For the last two decades, or so, Denver did volunteer work with MetroEast Community Media, a local TV and Media production organization in Gresham, OR.  He became skilled as a camera operator, program producer and editor for such entities as city council meetings, news coverage, and Christian church programs.  Denver was gratified that he developed a series of video programs, based on the “Winding Trails” columns authored by family friend Al Hobart (published at least twice by the IV News paper) with the many slides and photographs taken by Al and by Denver’s Grandmother Frieda Thayer; with help to digitize the slides and notes by Mr. Lee Webb and Mr. Dennis Strayer through the Kerbyville Museum. The programs focused on the many unusual and unique plants found in the wilds of Southwest Oregon.

Denver is survived by his daughter and granddaughter; brother, Jack, his daughter Bethany, son Ben with wife Greta in Portland area; three added nephews; and many cousins.