Herman Kessler, a past business owner, international business consultant and accountant, died Aug. 22 on his 89th birthday, after a brief illness at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.
Born and raised in Amsterdam, N.Y., Kessler graduated from Union College with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and earned an accounting degree from the University of Pennsylvania. While at Union College, he was a member and officer of the varsity tennis team; a member of the executive board of the school paper, Concordiensis; played on the intramural basketball, football and softball teams; and also boxed intramurally.
He was a member and executive director of Kappa Nu Fraternity. During his college years, he was also the tennis singles and doubles champion of the City of Amsterdam.
After he graduated, Kessler relocated to Washington, D.C., where he was employed by the U.S. Census Department. During World War II, he moved to Philadelphia when he was reassigned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
From 1950 through 1980, he was a co-owner and executive vice president of Hol-Gar Manufacturing Company, which made engine generators for the U.S. military. In 1980, he and his longtime partners, Robert Gasparro Jr. and Henry Mancuso, sold Hol-Gar and formed Triad, an international government consulting firm.
In 1987, Kessler joined LEFA INC., an international sales company founded by his son-in-law, Abelardo Lechter. He was executive vice president and chief financial officer of LEFA until 2005, when he semi-retired and acted as their financial adviser until his death.
Kessler was a founding member of the Israel Tennis Camps, as well as a benefactor of Union College and Montgomery County Community College. He was also a supporter of B'nai B'rith, Congregation Sons of Israel in Amsterdam, the Mayo Foundation, the American Cancer Association, the American Glaucoma Association and the World Jewish Congress.
Active in Montgomery County politics, he worked on many local, state and national campaigns, including his daughter Lynne Lechter's 2000 campaign for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He was a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Kessler is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Tobie Schwebel; daughter Lynne Lechter; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many sisters- and brothers-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by daughter Beth Waasdorp and brother Louis Kessler.
Memorial contributions can be made to: the Tobie and Herman Kessler Humanities Award Fund, Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422.