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Dr. Peter Crawford Kesling

January 1, 1932 — July 25, 2022

Dr. Peter Crawford Kesling, 90, of La Porte, passed away on Monday, July 25, 2022 at Northwest Health - La Porte.

Peter was born on January 1,1932 in La Porte, IN, to Dr. Harold D. and Jean A. (Crawford) Kesling.

On September 4, 1954 in La Porte, IN, he married Charlene Kneisley who survives.  Also surviving are his children, Dr. Christopher K. (Tami) Kesling of La Porte and Andrew C. Kesling of Union Pier, MI; grandchildren, Abigail L. Kesling of Mishawaka, Hannah E. (Jim) Kesling Post of La Porte, Halley A. (Erik) Kesling Umbrasas of New Buffalo, MI, Katelyn R. (Troy) Kesling Smith of Bridgman MI, Austen C. (Raegan) Kesling of Valparaiso, Chloe J. Kesling of La Porte, and William K. (Julia) Kesling of Los Angeles CA; great-grandchildren, Adella Keener, Breccan Keener, Langley Smith, Willow Post, Story Smith, and Monroe Kesling; brothers, David L. Kesling of Santa Fe, NM and Timothy J. Kesling of Chicago, IL; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; children, Emily Ann Kesling and Adam Winslow Kesling; and grandchildren, Lindsey Kesling and Calvin Kesling.

Peter’s professional and business experience included President/CEO of TP Orthodontics from 1958-1980, Exclusive Orthodontic Practice (Retired), and Kesling & Rocke Group from 1958 - 2005.  He also had the La Porte County Historical Society Museum Building built in 1995. Peter was an accomplished author of several orthodontic textbooks, a worldwide lecturer on orthodontic techniques, and a holder of over fifty United States and Foreign Patents in the Dental, Orthodontic and Automotive fields.

He especially enjoyed being named in the 1973 Guinness Book of World Records for Worlds’ Largest Cartoon, which was 3 stories high and one block long.  Peter was humbled for having the only Patient’s Models (for Treatment with the Begg Technique) on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Pete, as he was called, had a passion for the restoration of antique and classic automobiles.  He drove a 1911 Ford in the 1976 Great Race from Istanbul, Turkey to San Francisco, CA, finishing third.  Peter participated in over ten transcontinental antique auto tours driving a 1910 Velie or 1914 Mitchell.  His favorite connection to the classic automobile hobby was developing a friendship with documentary film maker Ken Burns during the filming of “Horatio’s Drive” where Peter recreated the first time an automobile drove across the United States, which was in 1903.

Peter’s family was his greatest joy and love in life.  From his fondest childhood memories to the time he met his bride Charlene, to the birth of his children, his grandchildren, his great grandchildren, he cherished every moment, living life to the fullest.

A Private Celebration of Life Service will be held at Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center.  Burial will follow at Pine Lake Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to LOK Wishing Tree Foundation, c/o Unity Foundation of La Porte County, 422 Franklin St., Suite C, Michigan City, IN 46360 or the
La Porte County Historical Society, 2405 Indiana Ave., Suite 1, La Porte, IN 46350.

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Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center

2900 Monroe Street
La Porte, IN 46350

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