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Kessel, Milton J.

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December 14, 1922 - February 25, 2009

Kessel, Milton J.

Milton Kessel, a longtime furniture retailer in Dallas and active Rotarian, died on February 25 after a brief illness. Milton was born to Minnie and Abe Kessel in Slaton, Texas, on December 14, 1922. After graduation from the University of Texas, he served in the Navy during World War II. He was discharged as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1948 he married Rose Helen Fisher of Dallas, his loving companion for the next 61 years.

Milton was a dedicated member of Rotary for 50 years, serving as president of the Fair Park Club and, later, as District Governor. He joined the Park Cities Rotary Club in 2008. With his wife, he led a Rotary Group Study Exchange team to Australia in 1989. The following year, he founded a Rotary leadership camp (RYLA) for high-school students in the Dallas area. In 1995, he became the first recipient of his district’s “Service Above Self” award.

After retirement, Milton began tutoring math in Dallas elementary schools and authored a guide to math tutoring. Devoted to helping young students succeed, he made it his mission to recruit others to volunteer in the Dallas public schools.

Milton is survived by his wife, daughters Elaine Stillman (Ken), Diane Knight (Paul) and Janet Fletcher (Douglas), son Kenneth David and grandchildren Lauren and Lindsay Stillman. A funeral service will be held at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas on Friday, February 27, at 2 p.m. Burial will follow at Sparkman Hillcrest. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Rotary Foundation, Temple Emanu-El or a charity of the donor’s choice.

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