Charles Eugene Kessel

Charles Eugene Kessel

Charles was born in West Virginia and spent most of his life enjoying the pleasures of a rural‚ mountainous area. He especially enjoyed hunting. In his 20s‚ he began to volunteer as a firefighter. His day job was that of a school bus driver. Being a genuinely friendly man‚ Charles would greet each student with a cheerful‚ ‘Good morning‚’ and a smile. For many years‚ he held a second job at the senior citizens center. He enjoyed transporting the elderly to their appointments and loved talking to the shut-ins as he delivered their meals.

While a member of the Maysville Volunteer Fire Department‚ Charles held several offices including vice-president‚ president‚ and trustee. He worked tirelessly on the numerous and endless fundraisers needed for equipment replacement and building additions. This dedication enabled the company to grow and improve. Charles was instrumental in increasing membership. Along with his friends‚ his father joined‚ and much later his son started as a junior firefighter. Charles’ son is still a member. Today‚ Charles’ grandson shouts‚ ‘Fire call!’ as he pedals his tricycle. If he follows in their footsteps‚ he will be a fourth generation firefighter.

Even though Charles was a volunteer‚ he never treated it as a choice. He was very generous with his time and energy. He responded to calls for search parties‚ house fires‚ brush fires‚ farming incidents‚ medical emergencies‚ flood assistance and vehicle accidents. Being a volunteer in a rural area makes everything too real and too personal. The injured‚ missing‚ homeless‚ and dead are known to you by their name and their face. One may ask‚ ‘Why?’ He enjoyed it. On the lighter side‚ he loved helping Santa‚ showing off the fire truck to the kindergarten students‚ and participating at the fire company fair booth.

Charles was involved in the community in other ways. Everyone seemed to know that they could call on him for help. He was an active church member and a regular visitor to the area hospitals and nursing homes. Charles was a repeat donor to the Red Cross blood drives.

Charles grew up in a loving family. He cared deeply for his wife and was always very proud of his son and daughter. Little grandsons brought him joy during their visits. He passed along his faith‚ his love for the outdoors‚ his willingness to help‚ and his respect for others.

While transporting fire company equipment in 2002‚ he was severely injured in an accident. It left him with a life-threatening condition that soon took his life.