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Phyllis Kessel

1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Phyllis Kessel Obituary
Phyllis Kessel

Tinton Falls - Phyllis Kessel of Tinton Falls, NJ, passed away on January 2nd, 2018 at Monmouth Care Center, Long Branch. Born in Highland Park, she began her broadcasting career as a young bride in Roswell, NM where her husband Arthur was raised. She heard a male giving recipes over KBIM radio station, called the manager and asked why a man not a woman was doing so and she was immediately hired. The couple returned to the East with their infant son and Phyllis continued her radio career in Rochester, NY where "Phyllis Kessel's Lady Talk" was aired over WHAM, the then 50,000 watt NBC affiliate station.

Settling in her native NJ, she continued her radio program, first over WJLK, the radio voice of Asbury Park Press, later expanding her audience to several radio stations in NJ (WCTC in New Brunswick), NY and PA. She was on the air, uninterrupted for 30 years. One of her sponsors was Steinbach Dept. Store, headquarters in Asbury Park, NJ. In 1973 she joined the company as Director of Public Relations & Special Events for eight NJ stores. In that capacity she created and implemented nearly 250 in-store events each year. Her efforts generated in excess of 200,000 lines of annual editorial coverage in local, metropolitan area and national media gaining for her National Retail Merchant Assoc. recognition and a nationwide reputation for her efforts.

In 1978, she left Steinbach to open her own public relations/marketing firm, PHYLLIS KESSEL ASSOCIATES achieving instant success expanding its client base from one to several dozen within a very short time. The firm's medical marketing division served dozens of professional practices throughout the metropolitan area and as far as CA, Buffalo, NY and Canada. Her large client list also included realtors, builders, retail operations, shopping centers and members of the legal and financial professions.

Her many broadcasting awards included the NJ Broadcasters' Assoc. for the series 'Sex Education and Young Americans", the first award of its kind, NJ Chapter of the , the first media award ever presented to an individual rather than a newspaper, radio, or television station, special recognition from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders for "Phyllis Kessel's Lady Talk", the "Woman of Valor" award from Brandeis University Woman's Auxiliary and a special acknowledgement for several of her marketing programs from the Jersey Shore Public Relations & Advertising Assoc.

In 1979 she created "Phyllis Kessel's create-a-career" workshops, presenting seminars to women's organizations and at select department stress across the country. Phyllis' professional affiliations included memberships in AFTRA "(American Women in Radio & Television), The Jersey Shore Public Relations & Advertising Assoc., The New York Public Safety Relations Society and the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council. Among her many community affiliations were the Monmouth County Unit of The , where she served 14 years on the Board of Trustees and 4 years as Vice President of Public Education, the Monmouth County Human Relations Board, the Executive Board of the Monmouth County Charity Ball Committee and the Long Branch Youth Commission. She also served as a board member of the Ocean Cove Condominium Association in West End where she resided for more than 20 years.

Phyllis was pre-deceased by her beloved husband and best friend Arthur David Kessel and her daughter Jerilyn. Surviving are her son Steven, as well as her nephew and nieces Martin Kessel, Irene Kessel, and Terry Kessel Myers of the Boston area for whom she and her husband became "surrogate" parents when theirs were killed in a plane crash. She is also survived by her caring cousin Bertram E. Busch of East Brunswick.

A private graveside service was held at Mount Lebanon Cemetery where Phyllis was laid to rest beside her soul mate, Arthur. Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels, Ocean, are in charge of the arrangements. Anyone wishing to honor her memory may make a donation to The .
Published in Asbury Park Press on Jan. 7, 2018
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