Dr. Michael Kesler

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Dr. Michael Kesler died Aug. 23 from advanced Parkinson’s disease at the age of 97, surrounded by family at his home in East Brunswick, N.J. Born in Dubno, Poland (now Ukraine), Michael and his sister Luba fled their family home to escape the Nazis. They wandered through 3,000 miles to Uzbekistan.

In his career as a chemical engineer in the petroleum industry, Michael was employed by M.W. Kellogg in New York City. While there, he created one of the first chemical engineering simulation programs, The Flexible Flowsheet. He then worked for Exxon, then Mobil Oil. While at Mobil, he created a well-known set of mathematical tools called the Lee-Kesler Correlations, with his colleague B.I. Lee.


Dr. Kesler next established Kesler Engineering, Inc., a consulting firm to the petroleum industry internationally. When Dr. Kesler retired in the 2000s, due to blindness caused by glaucoma, he embarked on a new career as a nonfiction writer. He authored four books.

Dr. Kesler leaves behind his wife, Dr. Barbara S. Reed of East Brunswick, N.J. He is also survived by his four children with his late wife, Dr. Regina Kesler, Mark (of Durham, N.C.), May Kesler Breslow (of Chevy Chase), David (of San Francisco) and Theodore (of White Plains, N.Y.); as well as two stepchildren, Michael Reed (of Mountain View, Calif.) and Rabbi Esther Reed (of Highland Park, N.J.). He was Zaydee/Poppy to Aaron Kesler, Regina Breslow, Joe and Maia Kesler, Korina and Daniel Kesler, Megan and Hannah Reed, and Isaac, Sammy and Jonah Reed-Schwartz.

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Contributions may be made to Rutgers University Hillel (rutgershillel.org/life-and-legacy), Hillel International (Hillel.org) or Colby College, Mayflower Hill Dr. Waterville, ME 04901.

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