Lehigh Acres lost one of its most active - and beloved - volunteers Friday.
"The matriarch of Lehigh Acres," Myra L. Kessler, 87, died on Feb. 19, 2016.
"Myra Kessler was certainly the heart of Lehigh Acres for over 50 years, and the heart of the Spring Festival," said Ruth Anglickis, a longtime time friend. "Her smile and infectious laughter will always be remembered."
Myra L. Kessler
Kessler grew up in Miami Beach and graduated from Miami Beach High School and the University of Colorado where she earned her degree in journalism.
She and her young family moved to Lehigh Acres in 1960 when her husband joined Lehigh Corporation as an executive with the building company. When her children entered school, she resumed her career in public relations and later was named director of communications for Lehigh Corporation and was a charter member of the Southwest Florida Public Relations Association.
Kessler loved being involved in the growing community of Lehigh Acres and participated in many projects such as chairing the successful CRA beautification of Homestead Road. She was also involved with Lehigh Foundation, Inc., helping to bring affordable housing to the community. She was a longtime member of the Spring Festival Board of Directors, Lehigh Community Services, Inc., and Town & Gown which provides services to Florida Gulf Coast University. She served on the Lehigh Regional Medical Center citizen board and the Capital Campaign Committee for Lehigh Hope Hospice.
In 2008, Kessler was selected by Florida Weekly Magazine as one of 10 Southwest Florida power women for their commitment to their work, their communities, and their families. In 2011, the Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce presented Kessler the Heart of Lehigh Acres Award in recognition of a lifetime of service to the Lehigh Acres community. In 2012, Kessler received the Spring Festival Angel Award.
What she liked to do best was play tennis and have lunch with her many wonderful friends, her family said.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Arthur, who passed away in 1974. She is survived by her sons, Dr. Louis Kessler, Charles Kessler, and Philip Kessler and their families.
Services will be held at Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park 12777 State Road 82, Fort Myers, on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 1 p.m. -2:30 p.m. with interment to immediately follow in Lee Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Lehigh Community Services Inc., www.lehighcommunityservices.com.