OBITUARY

Albert Francis Kessel

August 16, 1938December 28, 2012

Grocer Al Kessel passed away Friday December 28, 2012. "Big Al" was the founder of Kessel Food Markets, supermarkets that served Flint, Saginaw, Bay City, and Corunna from 1981 to 2000. Al was also a co-principal owner of Pet Supplies Plus. He continued being a merchant with local Save-A-Lot Food stores and Pet Supplies Plus stores throughout Michigan. Albert Francis Kessel, Jr. a baptized child of God, was born on August 16, 1938 in Owosso, Michigan. He was the son of Albert F. Kessel, Sr.and Esther V. (LaChance) Kessel. Al, also known as "Bud" attended St. Paul School in Owosso, Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, and Michigan State University in East Lansing. His career began as an accountant at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids. He switched positions to the grocery business working as the Comptroller of Spartan stores, also in Grand Rapids. In 1963, he became the Treasuer of Giant Food Stores of Carisle, Pennsylvania. At that time, Giant was a small family grocery company and grew through acquisitions of Martin supermarkets in Maryland. In 1973, Al came back to Michigan and became Executive Vice President of Hamady Brothers Supermarkets. December of 1981, he opened his first stores in Saginaw, Michigan. Kessel Food Markets expanded to Corunna, the Flint community and Bay City. Mr. Kessel always believed in serving the inner-city communities of Flint and Saginaw. In 1988, Kessel Food Markets won the grocery industry's award "Supermarket of the Year" for the store on Genesee Street, Saginaw Michigan. And again in 1993, for the Kessel store on Pierson Road at the North end of Flint. It was the first time that such an award was given to a supermarket located in the inner city. Kessel Food Markets was an innovative retailer. Kessel Food Markets was a successful supermarket company due to the hard work of its thousands of Associates. Al also believed in the philosophy; "from those that are blessed, much is expected." Al established the Kessel College Fund for Kessel associates. He paid for over 1000 Kessel associates College educations, mostly those at local colleges and universities. Mr. Kessel also established a summer basketball camp for youngsters in the inner-city of Flint in late 1980's and 1990's. Al also established a charitable trust, in memory of his first wife Bette, an annual golf tournament for women, "Women Like You". It became a foundation for breast cancer research and imaging. Al was an avid golfer. He was a former member of the Flint Golf Club. He was the President of The Quail West Golf and Country Club in Naples, FL for the past five years. His passion for golf led him to numerous golf memberships in Northern Michigan. Al was a member of various boards -- both institutions and charitable organizations. Al is survived by his wife Colette Marcoux Lehoux Kessel and nine children: Beth Ann (Joseph) Menard of Yardley, PA; Virginia Gephart of Wellsville, PA, Charlene (Frank) Brown of Grand Blanc, Thomas Kessel of Grand Blanc, Timothy (Ginger) Kessel of Charlotte, NC, James Kessel of Grand Blanc, Marc Lehoux of Gulfport, FL, Anita McClimans of Naple, FL, and Jeannine Lehoux (Barry) Siewart of South Pasadena, FL. He is also survived by 21 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren, and siblings Janet Lewis, Alabama, James Robert, Florida, and William, California. Al was preceded in death by his first wife, Bette V., son Ronald Lehoux, son-in-law Mike Gephart, and sister Mary Alice Hausbeck. In lieu of flowers, please send charitable donations to Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane. Naples, Fl 34105 or your favorite charity in memory of Al. Visitation will be at Hill Funeral Home, 11723 South Saginaw Street in Grand Blanc on Thursday evening January 3rd from 4 pm to 8 pm. as well Friday, January 4th, 4pm to 8pm with a Rosary at 7PM. Funeral Mass will be on Saturday January 5th at 10 am at Holy Family Catholic Church, 11804 South Saginaw Street in Grand Blanc, followed by burial at Evergreen Cemetery.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, January 3, 2013
  • Visitation Friday, January 4, 2013
  • Prayer Service Friday, January 4, 2013
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, January 5, 2013
REMEMBERING

Albert Francis Kessel

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Cindy Kennedy/Magness

June 29, 2013

We would like to send our condolances to the Kessel family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Gordon & Cindy Kennedy/Magness

Cecilia Cunningham

February 1, 2013

Dear Colette, Our family has been praying for your family and will continue to pray that God blesses you with comfort as you grieve the loss of Al. The great Healer is now attending to Al and he is now at peace. May God strengthen you and your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Peace and Blessings,

January 28, 2013

Thanks Tom it was very nice hearing from you please contact me Emmitt Jenkins at 662 822-5428.
576 Wintergreen Street Greenville Ms. 38701. Love you guys so much.

January 18, 2013

A wonderful man, human being. Someone who made the world better while here and left the world a better place when he left. What more can we do really? Those of us who knew him and those who called him friend, were the fortunate ones. My prayers go with him on his next journey.
Someone who knew him -

Kaley Alburtus-Douglas

January 12, 2013

I worked for Kessel's from the time I was 16 to the time I was 20. Mr. Kessel was always a wonderful guy and very sweet to me. His family was wonderful. When my mom, Jonnie Alburtus, passed away in 1996, (a long time employee and manager) the Kessel family was absolutely wonderful to us. One of the best things Mr. Kessel did for me, was the tuition program they had. This allowed me to go to school. Thank you so much for being a great employer and a wonderful man. My prayers and thoughts go out to your family, as they mourn your loss. God Bless.

January 8, 2013

TO THE KESSEL FAMILY TIM, JIM AND TOM, MY PRAYERS AND LOVE GO OUT TO EACH OF YOU, I AM SADDENED BY THE PASSING OF "BIG AL" AND AT THE SAME TIME REJOICE TO KNOW OUR TIME HERE ON EARTH IS SHORT AND TO KNOW HE WAS A CHILD OF GOD AND IN A BETTER PLACE WITH JESUS, AND I KNOW THIS BY HIS FRUIT AND THE LOVE HE SHOWED TO HIS FELLOW MAN. THE MANY LIVES HE TOUCHED WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, I WILL NEVER FORGET THE LOVE AND OPPURTUNITY THAT THE KESSEL FAMILY GAVE TO ME.
PASTOR EMMITT JENKINS (GREENVILLE MS)

Dale & Kathy Moon

January 6, 2013

Our deepest sympathy to Al's family. Our son Scott Moon worked as an apprentice meat cutter at the Corunna Kessel Food Market. On March 22, 1989 he was killed in auto accident. Mr Kessel reached out to our family with deep compassion sending a personal letter of condolence, food to our home and offering assistance in the days ahead with insurance and the like. Even after all these years his kindness has never been forgotten. We will always remember him a good man who gave witness to his faith in the way he treated his fellow man. May he rest in eternal peace, a peace he so justly deserves. Yours in Christ, The Moon Family
P.S. Scott was really happy in his work a Kessel and spoke offen of the opportunities he was given to learn and advance in his young career.

Judy

January 6, 2013

I still shop Krogers with my Kessels card. God bless.

January 5, 2013

A great Grandfather who will be forever missed by everyone whom he touched. We love you and we'll see you again someday. Rest in peace Grandpa..

January 5, 2013

Jim, my condolences on the death of your father--may he see the face of God today. A friend from U-M Flint days, Veronica