Jean L. Kesner
Date of Passing:
Kesner, Jean L., (Laidler), celebrated her 100th birthday this past April. She lived in Riverside for these past fifty years, but was a lifelong Townie. Jean died peacefully at home on January 21, 2024 surrounded by her loving family.
Born in Providence she was a first generation American, the youngest daughter of the late Joseph and Bessie (Craddock) Laidler who immigrated from England in the early 1900s. In addition to her sister the late Edith Larned and brother the late William Laidler she had a large extended family of aunts and uncles and always had a funny or interesting story to share about her youthful shenanigans.
Jean was a proud United States Marine Corps World War II Veteran. She served proudly and was honorably discharged at the rank of Staff Sergeant at the end of the war. She was among the first female Marines to enlist from Rhode Island, doing so on her 20th birthday. She was a member of the Woman’s Marine Corp Auxiliary.
Mrs. Kesner was one of the first female employees at the Providence Post Office. She served for over 32 years retiring as a Supervisor/Trainer.
Jean was a charter member of the Piecemakers Quilt Group and a member of the E.P. Senior Bowling League. She was an active member of the E.P. Senior Center. She was a past Girl Scout and Cub Scout Leader and a past docent at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.
Whatever interest or hobby Jean pursued was with passion and tenacity. She was an artistic quilter, with an amazing eye for color, design and detail. She created beautiful quilts for every new baby, every new bride and every special occasion in the lives of her children and grandchildren. As recently as this past October she won a 3rd prize ribbon for a non-traditional winter quilt she entered in the Piecemakers Quilt Show.
Jean was also a talented Stained Glass Artist. She leaves an amazing legacy of unique and treasured pieces for her family to enjoy.
She is survived by six children who loved her dearly, Michael H. Kesner (Christine) of Chapel Hill, NC, Bonnie Jean Marks (Peter) of East Greenwich, Jill Kesner Bowen (George) of Riverside, Becky Kesner Bessette (John) of Riverside, Karen Kesner of Rumford and Peter Kesner (Linda) of Exeter; twelve grandchildren; twenty-one great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. Her much-loved Yorkie, Mini was her final furry companion.
Jean was the North Star of her family, she was the constant, providing direction not through advice but by her example of honesty, hard work, creativity, tenacity and love. Simply a life well lived.
Her funeral service will be held on Saturday January 27, 2024 at St. James Lutheran Church, 49 Middle Highway, Barrington at 10 a.m. Calling hours are Saturday morning from 9-10 a.m. in St. James Lutheran, Church. Burial with Military Honors will follow in Springvale Cemetery, Rumford.
Contributions in Jean’s memory to Rhode Island community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907 or the Scholarship Foundation of East Providence, PO Box 154438, East Providence, RI 02915. Please note in the memo portion of the check that the donation is for the Kesner Scholarship.