Updated: January 23, 2013
Harold Kessler, M.D.
Kessler Family Establishes Award in Father's Memory
The Harold Kessler, M.D. Endowment Fund was established by his three children, Barbara, Susan and Sam, to honor their father who died on March 27, 2003. Harold Kessler, M.D., graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1929 and practiced pediatrics for over 50 years in northern Michigan (Alpena) and Ann Arbor. In 1964, at the age of 56, Dr. Kessler moved his family to Ann Arbor so he could pursue a second residency in child psychiatry at UM Children's Psychiatric Hospital.
Dr. Kessler was a distinguished doctor who throughout his life provided medical care without regard to a patient's ability to pay. Although he was trained as a pediatrician, he also delivered 9,000 babies in Alpena, because at that time a small-town pediatrician had to be prepared to cover as many needs of the community as he could. He also performed direct blood transfusions, because he was the only doctor in the area with the laboratory knowledge and skill to do something that complicated.
Dr. Kessler was a loving husband and father, a loving son, and a devoted brother to six siblings, many of whom he put through school. His children describe their father as "a very gentle man and a man of great peace - a man who "walked lightly" on this earth."
In his later years Dr. Kessler was cared for by Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., and other faculty and residents from the U-M Department of Family Medicine. The Kessler family hopes that this award will inspire other physicians to become the kind of physician with whom their Dad would have been proud to have known as a colleague and associate.