Barbara Kessie — UPDATED
Barbara Ruth Kessie, 97, Columbia City, died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, at Mason Health Care Center, Warsaw. Born Dec. 24, 1924, to Methodist missionary parents in Kongju, Korea, she was the daughter of Charles and Edith (Anderson) Amendt.
Her early schooling for six years was provided by her mother in their home. In 1937 and 1938, she traveled with her family around the world from Korea and back there again, spending a school year in Rochester, N.Y. Back in Korea, she attended the American school in Seoul, Korea, until November 1940 when missionaries were evacuated from the Far East.
During the World War II years, she completed her high school years in Mayfield, Ohio. In 1943, she entered Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio, graduating with Bachelor of Arts degree in 1947. That December she returned to Korea for a year’s contract with the U.S. Military Department, Department of Agriculture, as a secretary. It was there that she met her future husband, Gerald Kessie, and they were married Oct. 1,1949, in Brecksville, Ohio, by her father.
Her entire married life was spent at “Chosen Acres,” Route 6, Columbia City. “Chosen” is translated from a Korean name and means “Land of the Morning Calm.” Mrs. Kessie re-entered college at St. Francis College in Fort Wayne in 1963, completing her Master of Science in education in 1968. The following two years, she completed schooling at Indiana University, Fort Wayne, for her librarian certification. She taught social studies, Spanish and English in Larwill, Pierceton and Coesse until her first librarianship at Argos for the 1969-70 school year. From that time until her retirement in May of 1987, she was the librarian at Whitko High School, South Whitley.
Her memberships and activities included the Columbia City United Methodist Church, the Susanna Group of the United Methodist Women’s’ Society, the Association of Indiana Media Educators, Delta Kappa Gamma and Women Educators’ Honorary Greek Letter Sorority. She was also vice chairperson of the Susanna Group. Barb was also an avid reader and following her retirement, she was the volunteer librarian in the library of the Columbia City United Methodist Church.
Barb is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Elaine (Lionel) Kreger; son and daughter-in-law, Joe (Darci) Kessie; brother, Gordon Amendt (died Jan. 25, 2023); six grandchildren, Melissa (Chris) Long, Heather (Mike) Mielcarz, Jeremy Kessie, Audra (Bryan) Farner, Taylor (Kelsey Jo) Kessie and Kaitlin (Perry) Greene; 15 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren. Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald Kessie on July 30, 2000; son, Phillip Kessie on Nov. 9, 2013; sister, Janet Groover; and infant brother, Roger Amendt.
A memorial gathering will take place from noon to 1:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Her service may also be watched live through Facebook at DeMoney-Grimes Live. Memorial donations may be given in memory to Mission 25, c/o Community Foundation of Whitley County, 400 N. Whitley St., Columbia City, IN 46725 or Kosciusko Home Care Hospice, 1515 Provident Dr., Warsaw, IN 46580. Visit www.DeMoneyGrimes.com to send Barb’s family online condolences or sign the online guest book.