AnitaKatharina LeitzKesler, 58, Manhattan, Kansas, passed away May 14, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. Anita was born June 27th, 1955 in Oedheim, Germany to Alfred and Frida Ocker Leitz. She was the youngest of their 3 children, a happy surprise to her parents. She graduated from school in Germany and in 1973 married her first husband. To this union was born their daughter, Melanie. They divorced in 1983. In 1984 she met the love of her life, a handsome American GI, at a Wine Fest she was attending with friends. They began dating and were married August 16th, 1985. On Sept 21st, 1987, the family moved from Germany to the United States, first landing in Maryland, then Junction City, finally making a home in Fort Riley. While living in Maryland, Robert was born, making his parents and big sister very happy. After retiring from the Army in 1992, the family moved to Manhattan, where they still live. Anita began working at KSU, first at McCain Auditorium, then at the KSU Union in the Food service department. From there she moved to Justin Hall, and finally found her home at Throckmorton Hall to work in the Department of Plant Pathology.
Anita will be remembered for her love of her family and friends, for her ribald sense of humor and her amazing ability to organize and clean! She was a feisty lady that loved any music with a good beat. She loved spending time with her family and going shopping with her daughter and granddaughter. She was her children's greatest cheerleader and enjoyed attending events to celebrate their accomplishments. Anita also enjoyed her book club, her martini evenings with her friends, and especially her workout sessions with her cross-fit family. She loved the challenge of her job, even fiscal year end. Anita appreciated her deep friendship and affection for her co-workers and all the faculty and students she worked with.
She is survived by her husband Bob of the home, her daughter Melanie Farney and her children, Ben and Grace, of Lawrence, KS, and her son Robert, of Manhattan. She is also survived by her brothers, Manfred and Gerhard Leitz and their families, in Oedheim, Germany.
A Memorial Service will be held at Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Manhattan, KS at 11am on Friday, May 23, 2014. The family will greet guests 30 minutes prior to the service. A reception will follow at Della Voce on Poyntz Ave at 2:30pm. Cremation will take place with an inurnment in Germany at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the KSU Foundation, 2323 Anderson Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502-2911, please place in the memo the donation is for the AnitaKesler Memorial Fund. KSU Foundation will plan to use these contributions for the Kansas State University Gardens.
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I was extremely sad to hear about Anita's sudden death. She was such a light of happiness to life. I will remember her cheerful attitude when she was in the hospital emergency room with a broken wrist! Even with a broken wrist, she was cheerful!
When we were growing up, I will always remember the way she would say my name, with her German accent. The thought of it still brnigs a smile to my face.
Dear Bob, Melanie and Robert, I was very sad to hear about the loss of Anita. She was a dear friend to me. Being from Norway we had many talks about what it is like to leave your birth country and move to the US. At times you feel lost as if you are in 'no woman's' land and other times you feel that you are living the best of both worlds. We also used to laugh about how 'mad'
Dear Bob, Melanie and Robert, I was very sad to hear about the loss of Anita. She was a dear friend to me. Being from Norway we had many talks about what it is like to leave your birth country and move to the US. At times you feel lost as if you are in 'no woman's' land and other times you feel that you are living the best of both worlds. We also used to laugh about how 'mad' people are back home with all their cleaning rituals... She was such a warm and caring person with a great sense of humor. I am forever grateful that I was able to get to know her, spend time with her, learn from her and laugh with her! I used to call her my adopted young aunt! My thoughts go out to all of you during this difficult time. Sincerely, Bente Janda
Posted by: Bente Janda - Friend May 22, 2014
I've known Anita for many years. My deepest condolences to all her family. May God bless you all and gives you peace.
Posted by: Fanny Iriarte - Tallahassee, FL May 21, 2014
Still at a loss for words, but know that we are sharing your grief.
Mein aufrichtiges Beileid!