At 93 years young and after battling leukemia, our Mother went to be with our Lord on March 21, 2018. Waiting anxiously for her were many including her loving husband, Ralph, parents Marie and Charles Lesch, brothers Nicholas, Irvin and Marcel Lesch and great grandchildren Hailee Kesner and Caleb Smith.

Irene was born on March 6, 1925 in Holy Cross, the town of Belgium, WI; daughter of Charles and Marie Reding Lesch. She attended school in Port Washington, later working at the Port Washington Chair Factory where she would meet her future husband.

On July 6, 1946, Irene married Ralph Kesner at St. Mary’s Church in Port Washington. They settled into their new home on Lakeview Ave where they would reside for many years.

Besides raising ten children with her husband, Irene had a passion for traveling. With her husband and some of their children, she criss-crossed the US from the west coast to the east coast with stops in parts of Canada. Irene also made several trips to Luxembourg where many of her cousins and their extended families still live. Slovenia is another beautiful place she visited, at first with her husband and later on her own. She was always warmly welcomed by her husband’s aunts, uncles, cousins, and their extended families despite the fact she did not understand the Slovenian language.

Other trips took Irene to England, France, Germany Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand. During these tours, Irene was blessed to have made some beautiful lasting friendships.

Irene is survived by her children, Mary Fox (Dave) of West Bend, Ralph of Cedar Grove, Rita Hasslinger (Ken) of Menomonee Falls, Ken (Janice) of Townsend, WI, Betty of Manitowoc, Irene Kocourek (Mike) of Manitowoc, Jim (Cathy) of Sheboygan, Phil (Peggy) of Sheboygan Falls, Ron (Renee) of Port Washington, Regis of Sheboygan; 25 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, and four more on the way. She is further survived by her sister Eleanore Eck (the late Emil), sister-in-law Carol Lesch and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews other relatives and friends. She will be dearly missed by many.

The Rev. Patrick Wendt will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial Noon Saturday, April 7, 2018 at St. John XXIII Parish-St. Mary’s Church, 430 N. Johnson St., Port Washington, WI. Interment parish cemetery. Visitation Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 10AM-Noon prior to Mass AT CHURCH.

Memorials can be made to the Ronald McDonald House, 8948 W. Watertown Plank Rd., Wauwatosa, WI 53226.

POOLE FUNERAL HOME/Crematory, Port Washington, WI assisting the family. Information and condolences available at or 262/284-4431.

Thank you to Aurora Hospice Care Team, especially nurse Betty, social worker Vicky and Dr. O’Reilly for their kindness and care for our dear mother.



  1. So sorry to hear about your mother. Always liked talking to her and working with your dad at the post office for years. May God bless you all.

  2. My sympathies to the entire Kesner family. Many years ago my family lived a block away from you on Lakeview Ave. I went to school with Ken. Such a nice family and I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Karen Eischen Miller

  3. Dear Mary and all of the Kesner Family — my condolences to you all. Your Mom was a wonderful woman. It is so hard to accept the loss of our parents. We are never quite ready for that part of our lives. Take comfort in knowing that she is with your Dad again and happy and free from all pain and sorrow.

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  4. Aunt Irene died on my Mom’s birthday. I am sure that Mom and her sisters and Uncle Ralph are waiting for her with so much love and excitment . Finally, they are together again in heaven at peace!

  5. Dear Kesner Family, my sympathy to you. Mom and Grandma is in eternal heaven and resting peacefully. My prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Sorry I can’t come to the visitation and mass. Take care and God Bless, your cousin Nancy Stacker Schmitz

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