Richard G. Kessel
Birth date: July 19, 1931
Death date: March 13, 2013
Richard Glen Kessel, 75, of Rapid City, SD passed away on Wednesday March 13, 2013. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday March 19th at 10:00 am at lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, 605 Kirkwood Ave, Iowa City. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be directed to Richard G. Kessel Medical Scholarship Fund. C/O University of Iowa Foundation, 1 West Park Road Iowa City, Iowa 52242 Richard was born 19 July 1931 in Fairfield, Iowa, the son of Oscar G. Kessel and Hazel M. Humston Kessel. He graduated from the Fairfield Public High School in 1949, then attended Parsons College in Fairfield and received the B.S. Degree summa cum laude in Chemistry in 1953. He entered the University of Iowa Medical School in 1953, but financial constraints caused a change in plans. He enrolled in the Graduate College of the University of Iowa in Biological Sciences in 1954 and received the M.S. Degree in 1956 and the Ph.D. Degree in 1959. His training and research for the Ph.D. were in the area of cell structure and function and involved the use of the transmission electron microscope which was a new and important tool in the investigation of cell structure and function at that time. Subsequent research tools used included scanning electron microscopy, cell culture, autoradiography, ultrastructural cytochemistry and freeze fracture studies on cell membranes. Following graduation, Kessel accepted a teaching and research position in the Anatomy Department of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. From 1959-1961, he was instructor, then Assistant Professor of Anatomy there. In 1961, he accepted an invitation to return to the Biology Department at the University of Iowa. He remained in this position as Assistant Professor, Associate professor and then Professor until retirement in 1997. During his tenure at the University of Iowa, Kessel performed research in cell and developmental biology and taught under-graduates and graduate students in cell biology, electron microscopy and microscopic anatomy (histology). During this time he published some 120 scientific research and review articles and 5 books. Much of his research dealt with the biology of the female gamete and cell organelle structure and function. His last book, shortly before retirement was BASIC MEDICAL HISTOLOGY published by Oxford University Press in 1997. He also collaborated with his colleague at Iowa, Professor H.W. Beams on the effects of high centrifugal force on living cells. Kessel taught the first course in Transmission Electron Microscopy at the University of Iowa. He was the first recipient of a five year U.S. Public Health Service Research Career Development Award at the University of Iowa and served as Chairman of the University Scanning Electron Microscope Steering Committee for many years. He was also a program Director of a U.S. Public Health service sponsored Developmental Biology Training Grant for many years. The training grant provided tuition support as well as financial support for the research activities of those graduate students appointed to this grant. He was a member of several University committees including the University Research Council (Chairman) and Library Committee (Chairman). Over a period of more than three decades, he taught thousands of pre-professional students in his undergraduate lecture-laboratory course in cell, tissue and organ biology. Professional society memberships included the American Association of Anatomists, the Society of Developmental Biology, the American Society foe Cell Biology, the Microscopy Society, Physiology and Biophysical Societies, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, and Beta, Beta, Beta. He was a life member of the Iowa Alumni Association. He is listed in Who’s Who is America. Other associations include the President’s Club of the University of Iowa, the Dean’s Club of the University of Iowa College of liberal Arts. The 1847 Society of the University of Iowa and the Whitman Society of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in woods Hole, Massachusetts. Kessel established the Richard G.Kessel Medical Scholarship at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, the Richard G. Kessel Scholarship in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Cornell College, Mt Vernon, IA., the Richard G. Kessel Embryology Course Scholarship at the MBL in Woods Hole, MA. He also established and funds a visiting lecturer program for the Embryology Course at the MBL. Kessel was a student in the Embryology Course at the MBL in 1957. Following retirement, Kessel lived for eight years at Melrose Meadows in Iowa City. In late November of 2012, he moved to Rapid City, SD to be close to his nearest living relatives, a nephew Stepehn M. Babbitt III, a professor at Black Hills State University and his wife, Dr.Nancy Babbitt, a physician in Rapids City. Shortly after moving to Rapid City, Kessel was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and spent his ensuing time at Somerset Retirement Residence and Hospice House, both in Rapid City. Kessel was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Willa Kessel Babbitt, and a brother-in-law, Stephen M. Babbitt II. He is survived by two nephews, Stephen M. Babbitt III and family of Rapids City, South Dakota, Bret Richard Babbitt and family of Livermore, CA and a niece, Darcy Jean Babbitt of Oakland, California.
Richard Kessel Medical Scholarship Fund. C/O University of Iowa Foundation 1West Park Road, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
9:00 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service - Iowa City 605 Kirkwood Avenue, P.O. 167 Iowa City Iowa 52244 (map/driving directions)
10:00 am on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service - Iowa City 605 Kirkwood Avenue, P.O...