Cover photo for Joan Margaret (Kessler)  Rangus's Obituary
Joan Margaret (Kessler)  Rangus Profile Photo
1933 Joan 2023

Joan Margaret (Kessler) Rangus

February 3, 1933 — July 4, 2023

Joan Margaret Rangus, a native of Chicago and longtime resident of the Tampa Bay area, passed away on July 4 at the age of 90.

Joan was born in Chicago on Feb. 3, 1933, and graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes, a Catholic school for girls on the city’s southwest side. As was the custom for many young women of her generation, she married shortly after graduation and also began work. When her son was born in 1971, she stepped away to raise him, then returned to the workforce following her husband’s passing in 1980.

Joan worked as an on-site secretary for building contractors—first in Chicago and then in the Tampa Bay area. Her contributions can still be seen today at the Tampa Convention Center, where she worked from groundbreaking to ribbon-cutting. Among her many projects, she also worked as on-site secretary at what is now the Sheraton Tampa Brandon Hotel in Mango, Fla.

After she retired, Joan rediscovered her love of art and began painting seriously. She sold several of her oil paintings, gave many as wedding presents, and had even had work displayed at the Valrico State Bank near her home in Florida. She also added sketching to her repertoire, and one of her sketches was turned into a widely distributed Christmas card.

Joan was devoted to her family. She loved fishing and being on the water in general. Joan was also a major sports fan. She was happy to have lived to see a Chicago Bears Super Bowl win, a Chicago Cubs World Series title (which brought tears when she discussed it), and multiple Stanley Cup wins by the Tampa Bay Lightning and NCAA football championships for the Florida State Seminoles and Georgia Bulldogs.

She spoke Polish. Into her 80s, she could still write perfect shorthand, and she loved music. Especially songs she could sing herself, which she did after joining her neighborhood singing group.

In her later years, some called Joan “spicy but sweet,” but after living a life devoted to others, she had earned the right to spend her days on her own terms. She moved to suburban Athens, Ga., in January 2023 to be closer to family.

She loved dogs—particularly Shetland sheepdogs, golden retrievers, and collies. And, while suspicious of cats for much of her life, she loved them too once they joined the family.

Joan is survived by her son, Eric (Stephanie), and many loving friends and first, second, and third cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Marty, and her parents, Joseph A. and Floriana D. Kessler (Sobczak).

Her life will be celebrated at Evergreen Memorial Park in Athens, Ga., on Friday, July 14, at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Golden Retriever Rescue of mid-Florida. https://www.grrmf.org/

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, Watkinsville, GA is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Margaret (Kessler) Rangus, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Graveside Service

Friday, July 14, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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