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Sally Walter Kesselman

1945 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Sally Walter Kesselman Obituary
Sally Walter Kesselman

Memphis, TN

Sally Walter Kesselman, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and friend, died on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Born in 1945 to her beloved parents Abe and Goldie Walter, "Sally Beth" grew up on Hawthorne Street and graduated from Central High School. While attending Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, she was injured in a car accident that required her to return home to Memphis. Soon thereafter she met and fell in love with Fred Kesselman, the love of her life who was stationed at Millington Naval Reserve Base. Married at 21 years old, Sally created a beautiful home in which to raise her children, entertain friends and family, and devote countless hours to volunteer activities.

When she was only 34, Sally was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not content with beating her own cancer, she spent much of the next 35 years in service to others battling with the disease. Sally was an active member of Reach to Recovery, a volunteer group devoted to helping women rehabilitate physically and emotionally from breast cancer. Twice Sally chaired their annual fundraising fashion show, and she made hundreds of selfless visits to women all around Memphis recovering from mastectomies. When the FDA attempted to ban implants used for reconstructive surgery, Sally was a vocal advocate in the fight to keep the implants on the market and was willing to speak publicly about breast reconstruction issues at a time when such conversations were deemed impolite.

Sally enjoyed traveling, but always looked forward to returning home to Memphis. She engaged in a wide range of civic activities such as volunteering with MIFA and at the Wonders exhibits in downtown Memphis. Sally was a devoted member of Beth Sholom Synagogue and Temple Israel, supported various Jewish charitable causes, and became a bat mitzvah at the age of 40. She previously served as co-chair of the Memphis chapter of Hadassah, and on the board of the Memphis Jewish Community Center.

After a nearly year-long battle with lymphoma, she passed away in her sleep surrounded by her family in the bedroom that she had finally decorated just the way she liked it.

Sally was preceded in death by her husband, Fred. Sally is survived by her beloved children, Sheri Kesselman Grad of Kineret, Israel, and Marc Lewis Kesselman of Dallas; her five precious grandchildren, Jordan Grad, Avital Grad, and Ari Grad, all of Israel, and Ileana Kesselman and Adam Kesselman, both of Dallas; and her two big brothers, Harold Walter of Memphis, and Rabbi Roy Walter of Houston.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. today, Friday, July 14, at Temple Israel, 1376 East Massey, with burial to follow in Beth Sholom Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you remember Sally with a contribution to Temple Israel, the , or a .
Published in The Commercial Appeal on July 14, 2017
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