February 05, 1931 - October 07, 2014
February 05, 1931 - October 07, 2014
Kenneth J. “Sandy” Kessaris, age 83, passed away surrounded by his children on Tuesday afternoon October 7, 2014 following a lengthy illness. He was the loving husband of the late Sylvia (Pauling) Kessaris and predeceased by his first wife, Nancy (Scott) Kessaris.
He was the son of the late James and Mary (Kyriacopoulos) Kessaris. Born in Beverly on February 5, 1931, Sandy was raised in Beverly and graduated from Beverly High School, Class of 1949. While at Beverly High, Sandy excelled in football and baseball, and was mostly known as an all star running back for the 1948 Beverly High football team that went undefeated. He was voted Most Valuable Player of his team that year, and was subsequently named to the All-North Shore roster.
In baseball, Sandy was named first-string first baseman on the Boston Herald-American and Boston Post newspapers' All-Scholastic teams. Sandy also played three seasons for the BHS basketball team, and was a member of the inaugural group of athletes to be inducted to the Beverly High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.
After high school, Kessaris attended Wilbraham Academy for one year before going on to play football at Brown University where, in 1952, he was named first-string halfback on the All-New England collegiate team. He was Brown's leading rusher and receiver in his sophomore and junior years. In his senior year, following the death of his father, he was honored with the Unsung Hero Award from the football team. In November, 2003, Sandy was honored by Brown University as a member of the 1950’s All-Decade Football Team during the college’s 125th Anniversary of Brown Football.
Sandy had a long and successful business career at Jordan Marsh Company where he was a lead buyer and responsible for the company’s outerwear division. He later became a principal of Item House, Inc., a West Coast-based designer, manufacturer, and distributor of stylish outerwear for women.
Upon his retirement, Sandy spent most of his time traveling with his wife, Sylvia. When not traveling, he & Sylvia enjoyed entertaining family & friends at their homes in Ossipee, NH, Palm City, FL, and Wenham, MA. He had an incredible sense of humor and was always ready to share a good joke or humorous story with whomever he met. He also took great pride in his Beverly heritage and devoted countless hours volunteering with the Beverly Historical Society to preserve some of Beverly’s finest moments in history. Together with Bob Carr and the late Dick Batchelder, Sandy researched and created a book titled “The History of Beverly High School Football” and all proceeds from the book sales were donated back to the Beverly Historical Society. He also spearheaded the campaign to have the honorary plaque of long-time Beverly Football Coach Charlie Walsh created and placed at Beverly High School.
Sandy was deeply loved and cherished by his family and many friends. He will be greatly missed by everyone who had the honor to know him and love him. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth J. Jr. and Claire Kessaris of Woburn, MA, and daughters and sons-in-law Karen and Craig Hindman of Glenview, IL, Kim and Peter Barry of S. Hamilton, MA, and Cheryl and Peter Sinapis of Topsfield, MA, along with seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind three sisters and their husbands, Constance and Louis Christo of Beverly, MA, Effie and Robert Wallace of Boothbay Harbor, ME, Ethel & Ralph Rowe of Beverly, MA, sister Catherine Sigurdson of Danvers, MA, and brother Charles Kessaris of Danvers, MA. He was predeceased by sisters Jane Calichy and Mary Barry and by brothers George Kessaris and Paul Kessaris.
ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours will be held at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly Friday, October 10th from 4-8 PM. Funeral Services will be held at the Second Congregational Church, 35 Conant Street Beverly on Saturday, October 11th at 10 AM. Relatives and friends invited. Burial will be in North Beverly Cemetery following the funeral. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Sandy’s name to The Charles A. Walsh Memorial Scholarship, c/o Beverly High School, 100 Sohier Road, Beverly, MA 01915 or to the Beverly Historical Society, 117 Cabot Street, Beverly MA 01915. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com
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