Journalism loses another titan: Howard Kessinger

Posted February 22, 2014

Howard Kessinger, 81, long-time editor and publisher of the Marysville Advocate, died of complications of Huntington's Disease Feb. 22, 2014 at a hospital in Lincoln, Neb. He had been fighting the disease for years and had been battling pneumonia the past several days.

Kessinger won every major award and citation from the Kansas Press Association. He's a past president of KPA, a member of the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame, a Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor, a former president of the William Allen White Foundation, a member of the Kansas Newspaper Foundation Board of Trustees and had been recognized numerous times for his editorial writing skills.

He and Sharon sold the newspaper to daughter Sarah Kessinger in 2012. She is a current member of the KPA board.

Kessinger was born Oct. 25, 1932, in Wellington and grew up there. He attended Wichita State University for two years, served in the United States Army for two years, then attended Kansas State University and received a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism in 1957.

While he was attending Kansas State University, he began his newspaper career working for the Junction City Republic, which was owned by his brother, Ed Kessinger.

After graduation, he continued to work for the Republic, then became advertising manager for the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle.

In 1961, he went to work as managing editor of the Oberlin Herald, where he and the owner, Ernest Woodward, made a handshake agreement that if they were mutually satisfied with the arrangement, Kessinger would have the opportunity to buy the paper, which they did in 1965.

They sold it to Randall Braden in 1975 and bought the Advocate.

Survivors include his wife, Sharon; and children Hannah Malotte, Sarah Kessinger, Mary Kessinger-Wassom and Mike Kessinger.

Services for Howard Kessinger are at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Marysville.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Kinsley Mortuary, with the family receiving friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Cabin, 10th and Alston, Marysville.

Here's a link to a story on the Marysville website:

If you would like to send a card to Sharon or Sarah Kessinger, here's the address for each:

Sharon Kessinger
1103 Elm St.
Marysville, KS 66508

Sarah Kessinger
1104 N 8th St.
Marysville, KS 66508-1104

Below are (from left) Sharon, Howard and Sarah Kessinger at his retirement reception two years ago.