Dick Kessler…October 6, 1938 – January 25, 2016


A memorial service for longtime Lamar resident, Dick Kessler will be held at 1:00PM on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at the Peacock Family Chapel with his daughters officiating.

Per Dick’s request cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation.

Dick was born on October 6, 1938 at Delta, Colorado to Cecil Leonard and Frances Marie (Hall) Kessler and passed away on January 25, 2016 at his home in Lamar at the age of 77, with his family by his side.

Dick was a pioneer in the field of addiction treatment from 1971 until his death January 25, 2016. He was proud to share the message of hope and recovery to countless people in 50 states and 7 foreign countries.

He was a true hero in the fight against addiction having fought the battle himself. He was very instrumental in opening over 50 recovery centers across the United States and remained active in recovery until his death.

Mr. Kessler served as an advisor to the White House during the Reagan years as well as the following accomplishments:

  • Director of the Mile-Hi Council on Alcoholism
  • Vice President of Operations for Recovery Centers of America, where he opened and directed operations for over 50 inpatient alcohol/drug treatment centers around the country.
  • Chief Executive Officer of New Beginnings at Waverly, Waverly, MN.
  • Board Member: National Association of Treatment Programs
  • Past President of the National Alcoholism Professionals Society
  • Served as the President of the Alcohol and Drug Problems Association of America.
  • Started the first Alcohol Awareness Week in the country in the early 1970′s which has evolved into what is now known as National Recovery Month.
  • Taught at the University of Utah School on Alcohol and Drug Studies for over 20 years.
  • Taught at the University of Wisconsin Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

He was also an avid fisherman, fishing on the Pro Bass Circuit for 7 years. He was able to share that passion and love of fishing with his 3 daughters and his grandsons on many trips around the country including Canada and The Amazon.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

Dick is survived by his daughters, Dacra Jones of Lamar; Dawn Schmittel of Canon City and Diana Kessler Drake of Lake Charles, LA; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and his beloved pets Penny and Duke. He is also survived by his longtime best friend, Jim Bedient of Lamar as well as numerous other relatives and many friends.

He will be dearly missed by his family and his extended family in the recovery world.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Lamar Area Hospice and/or Second Chance Animal Rescue either direct or in care of the funeral home office.

Services are under the direction of the Peacock Family.

For current information and online condolences please visit our website at www.peacockfuneralhome.com.

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