In memory of

John Allen Kessler

With great sorrow the family announces the death of John Allen Kessler on Friday, Sept. 8th, 2023 at the Sunnybrook Palliative Care unit. Beloved husband of Sandra Rayner. Loving father to Anna Kessler (deceased), Michael Kessler, Jeremy (Diana) Kessler, Andrea (Phil) Kessler, William Kessler (deceased) and James Kessler. Adored son-in-law of Loring and Judy Rayner. Brother in-law to Ryan (Rachel) Rayner and uncle to Abigail, Katie, Hailey, Kelly and Laura Rayner. Cherished cousin to Kathryn Grossman, Gail (Bob) Duck, Jeff Dyke, Judy (Andrew) Welsh, Colin (Leslie) Dyke, Suzanne (Leo) Wessling. Predeceased by much loved parents, Daisy (Dyke) and Maurice Kessler.

John was an Old Testament scholar, a newly appointed Professor Emeritus at Tyndale University, and a creative thinker who was always turning over ideas for his next book or article. He was a fantastic husband and a kind, compassionate father. He loved adventure in any sense: travel, a new language, a new restaurant- all with good humour, good jazz, good wine and a cheese plate. He taught generations of students to work with the biblical text rigorously, to inhabit the text Hebraically, and at the same time inspired an intellectual humility and a professional graciousness.

In his journey with cancer, John encountered many setbacks, difficulties, triumphs, losses and treatment procedures with good grace and developed much wisdom born of these experiences. The family would like to thank the whole team at the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto for their work and care for John over this decade and beyond, particularly the fine work of Dr. Georg Bjarnason, Dr. Arjun Sahgal, Dr. Robert Nam and Dr. Robert Zeldin. We also want to thank the stellar work of the dedicated nursing staff, Dr. Debbie Selby and the creative arts therapists at the Sunnybrook Palliative Care Unit.

Visitation will take place at the Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre and Cemetery at 375 Mount Pleasant Road on Saturday, Sept. 16th at 10:30am followed by a Service at 11:00am. Immediately following will be a lunch reception at 12 noon with a graveside burial at 2:30pm.


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John and Trish Wilkinson (Friend and Colleague)

Entered September 13, 2023 from Toronto

We have walked together John for over 40 years - 40 good years. Thank you so much for your friendship. It has meant so much to me through thick and thin. Thank you for your great Kingdom contribution. and the amazing gift that you have been both to your students and to us a faculty. Love you my brother. See you in glory.

Jennifer Guest (Student)

Entered September 15, 2023 from Markham

It was a joy to sit in Dr. Kessler's class and have the Old Testament opened to me. To have a deeper understanding of the Word within the Word. I am deeply grateful. My prayers are for his family at this time. May you feel the presence of the Father in these days.

James Mcintyre (A good friend of James Kessler)

Entered September 16, 2023 from 117 highbourne road

Sorry for your loss and i send my greatest condolences

John and Lynn Vissers (Former colleague at Tyndale)

Entered September 16, 2023 from Toronto

To the Kessler family,

We extend our sincere sympathies for your loss. John was a good colleague and friend for many years. He will be missed by all, including a wider community of scholars who so admired his intellect and his careful research and writing on the Old Testament.

Paula and Eric (Friends)

Entered September 16, 2023 from Calgary

time spent with Dear Sandra, James and Family,

Eric and I are deeply saddened to hear the news of John's passing.

John was such a kind, intelligent and generous man.Time spent with John was always a delight.

May his memory be for a blessing and may you know no more sorrow.

Paula and Eric


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