M. Barron Kesser

by | Apr 8, 2021 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—M. Barron Kesser, 79, passed away on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, with his hand clasped in his wife’s and his family by his side.

Barry was a real estate developer and appraiser by trade, but a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle by heart.

Born in Norfolk, he was the son of the late Sylvia Finkelstein Kesser and Lewis Kernel Kesser. Barry attended Granby High School, but was forced to graduate from Virginia Beach High School, Class of 1959, when the Norfolk Public School System shut down in protest of integration. He also attended the University of Virginia and University of Georgia, graduating in 1964 with a Bachelors of Business Administration.

Barry was a community leader who donated his time and talents generously. He served as president of the board of the Norfolk Board of Realtors, the Norfolk Public Library, and the TOWN Foundation. He was a member of Congregation Beth El in Norfolk and Temple Emanuel in Virginia Beach. He was also a member of Norfolk Masonic Lodge, No. 1, a devoted member of the Norfolk Rotary Club, a longtime member of Congregation Beth El’s board of directors, and president of his AEPi fraternity chapter.

Barry trained scores of professional students in real estate appraising, earned his amateur pilot’s license, raced Hobie Cats, was a lifeguard at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, a marathon runner twice over, and a self-taught auto mechanic.

Despite such varied achievements, his greatest gift was also his most widely cherished: the ebullience and cheer he brought to every connection. Barry was as beloved by the tenants in his properties as he was by fellow runners on the Virginia Beach boardwalk as he was by his friends and peers, but still: no one loved him more than his wife and children. His life was a blessing.

Cherishing his memory are his beloved wife of 57 years, Kay Zedd Kesser; sister and brother-in-law Ellen and Joseph Fastow; children Bradley, Sonnia, Wendy, Susan, and Rob Benvenisti; and grandchildren Nathaniel, Rosie, Alivia, Ethan, Emma, Max, and Myles.

A private family funeral service was conducted at Congregation Beth El. The service was live streamed by the Temple at their website. The burial service was live-streamed on the funeral home FaceBook page, which can be accessed through www.hdoliver.com.

In the spirit of Barry’s devotion to Judaism, contributions in his memory may be made to Congregation Beth El in Norfolk or Temple Emanuel in Virginia Beach, or any other Jewish organization. Online messages of condolence may be sent to the family through www.hdoliver.com.