Obituary: KESSINGER, FORREST G

Published: Thursday, July 31 2014 12:30 a.m. MDT

Forrest G. Kessinger1925 ~ 2011Forrest G. Kessinger, age 86, passed away December 22, 2011 in Salt Lake City, UT. Born July 26, 1925 in Louisville, KY, to Virgil Randolph Kessinger and Wava Golden Dennison. Married Elizabeth Annaliese Zenzius in Merzig, Germany.After hopping trains in Louisville, KY for any points distant while scarcely a teenager, Forrest ran away from home at the age of 15 to join the Army. Initially stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, he returned fire at age 16 from the roof of Schofield Barracks to help repel the invasion (with the Japanese Zeros at "treetop level"). He was recently honored as one of seven Utah Pearl Harbor Survivors at the State Capitol, commemorating the 70th anniversary on December 7. He went on to spend 30 years in the United States Air Force, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant, with tours of duty in Germany, England, Okinawa, Vietnam (two tours), and Hurlburt Field Air Force Base, FL. Following mandatory "retirement" after 30 years service at the age of 45, he was employed by the Northrop / Grumman Corporation to help train the Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force in that country, for seven years. Throughout his life, hobbies and interests included fishing, photography, gardening and horticulture, archeology, history, and genealogy. While stationed in Germany following World War II, he met and then married his beloved wife, Elizabeth Annaliese Zenzius, who preceded him in death on April 4, 1998. They enjoyed a 47-year marriage, and were the parents of Roma Kessinger Griffin, Sharon Sandra Kessinger, and Ronald Stephen Kessinger (who was stillborn). Forrest is survived by Roma and Sharon (Stephan Lindeman), granddaughters Scarlett Kessinger Lindeman and Heather Ashley Griffin; grandsons Christopher Shawn Blackwell, Samuel Kessinger Lindeman, and Spencer Jacob Kessinger Lindeman; and great grandsons Brandon Christopher Blackwell, Shawn Nicholas Blackwell, and Christian Grant Blackwell.Forrest was a Mason, and a Shriner. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shriner's Children's Hospital.Services will be held on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, viewing at 10 a.m., service at 11, at the Hidden Valley Presbyterian Church in Draper, 12883 South 1300 East. Interment on Thursday, December 29, 2011, 11:00 a.m., at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, KY, with full military honors.