Stephen Ray Kessler

Stephen Ray Kessler, 67, passed away on February 16, 2024 at his home under the care of Ogeechee Area Hospice. Ray passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Claxton on February 10, 1957. Growing up, Ray lived in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Tennessee. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Ray worked in the coalmines before moving back to Claxton in 1980. Once back in Claxton, Ray worked at Georgia Pacific for 19 years. After leaving Georgia Pacific, he owned and operated his own lawncare business, worked in construction, and was employed at Arborgen until December 2023. He truly enjoyed hunting and fishing, and his love for the outdoors was shared with anyone who wanted to tie on a lure or trek through the mountains and hollers of West Virginia. He was proceeded in death by his parents, George and Evelyn Kessler. Ray leaves behind his loving wife of 35 years, Marie; his adoring daughter Emily and precious grandson, Archer; his wonderful sister, Karen (Dennis) Tippins; his, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, several nieces and nephews, great- nieces and nephews, aunt, uncle and several cousins. Visitation will be Monday, February 19, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Monday, February 19, 2:00 p.m. at Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be in Bull Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Claxton, Ga. Pallbearers will be Clay Tippins, Coy Tippins, Joseph Stanfield, Trey May, Gary Williams and Scott Nobles. Remembrances may be made to Evans County CARES, P.O. Box 186, Claxton, Ga. 30417. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.