1985 - 2020
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KESSEL, Benjamin

Engineer and Outdoor Enthusiast

It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the tragic loss of Benjamin Kessel, 34, due to a rock climbing accident in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on September 20.

Ben grew up in Natick, MA, and most recently lived in Somerville, MA. He was an avid rock climber who loved the outdoors and taught and led expeditions with the MIT Outing Club. He traveled extensively and rock climbed in countries all over the world, including Nepal, China, Thailand, Patagonia, and Peru.

Ben graduated Natick High School in 2004. He studied Mechanical Engineering, earning a BS at University of the Pacific in 2009, and an MS at Stanford in 2012. For the past three years he worked as a Control Systems Engineer at Ivenix, Inc., a medical device manufacturer in North Andover, MA. Previously he worked as Principal Test Engineer at CoolChip Technologies, Inc., an electronic cooling startup in Somerville.

Lovingly remembered by his mother, Irene Kessel; father, Paul Costello; brother, Daniel Kessel; uncles and aunts: Martin Kessel and Beverly Rich, Terry Kessel Myers Coney and Aims Coney, Sherry Degroff, Dianna Costello, and Philip Costello; cousins: Corey Myers, Jesica Myers, and Nathan Kessel; and godparents, Ana and Manolo Sanlucar.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sun., Oct. 4 at 10:30 am, with Zoom participation available. There will be an opportunity for Zoom condolences on Tue., Oct. 6 starting at 6:00 pm, and personal visits the week of Oct. 5-10 by arrangement. Contact for further information.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the "Ben Kessel Memorial Fund," which will award grants for engineering studies, research, and entrepreneurship to support nature conservation and combat climate change. Donations may be sent to: PO Box 261, Natick, MA 01760. Online donations available soon. Contact

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Published in Boston Globe from Sep. 26 to Sep. 27, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
October 6, 2020
Ben Kessel was a valued member of the Greentown Labs community where he was often the champion of our pool league, a collaborator in discussions on neat ideas to benefit the world, and a jolly giant who emanated sublime intelligence and grace. I was always happy to see Ben and share time with him.
Arron Acosta
October 4, 2020
Ben era un chico genial, le encantaba venir con su madre Irene a Sanlúcar a ver sus primos y sus tíos políticos, todos nosotros de aquí sentimos mucho la pérdida y te tendremos siempre en la memoria y en nuestro corazón allí donde vayas estarás querido Benjamín. Que Dios te bendiga. Muchos Besos.
Familia Lucía de Sanlucar
September 29, 2020
Sending lots of love your way
September 29, 2020
Ben’s dry sense of humor and lighthearted chuckle always made me smile. While we worked together, my mission was to see how many times I could make him laugh in a day. The Boston cleantech startup community will feel emptier without him. My thoughts and prayers go out to Ben’s family and loved ones.
Chloe Holzinger
September 29, 2020
gentle mellow soul like father
brilliant loving generous soul like mother inspired us to get high on life without substances
a steady climber your whole life
you knew the way Ben ❤ RIP
Andrea Choquet
September 27, 2020
I was saddened to hear about the loss of Ben. He was a bright and happy student of mine during my first year of teaching. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the Kessel family.
Doug Scott
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