Alvin "AJ" Kessel Retired tree specialist with NYC Parks Department, 71 Alvin "AJ" Kessel, 71, a retired NYC Parks Department tree specialist and avid National Parks Service coin collector, died July 19, 2021, after a long illness. Mr. Kessel was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, of two native Staten Islanders, Alice Connelly Kessel and Alvin John Kessel. Even though AJ was a year old when his family moved back to Concord, he always considered himself as a lifelong Staten Islander. He graduated from Curtis High School in 1968. He worked for the NYC Parks Department for many years as a tree specialist, where he discovered his love for plant life. In 1994, AJ won Super Bowl XXVIII tickets at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and took his best friend, John Raggi. "He was an important member of a loving family," said his cousin, Sharon Liander, "and he always loved to decorate for every holiday." AJ especially enjoyed spending time with family during the holidays. In addition to Ms. Liander, he is survived by many cousins. His brother, Glenn Kessel, died in 1989. The funeral will be Thursday at 10 a.m. from Casey Funeral Home with a burial at St Peter's Cemetery. Visitation is Wednesday 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. Casey Funeral Home 350 Slosson Avenue Staten Island, NY 10314 (718) 447-4242
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Published by Staten Island Advance from Jul. 20 to Jul. 21, 2021.