Canda Childers Kessler, 63, lost her courageous 20 month battle with brain cancer Aug. 15, 2010. She died at her home with her husband by her side. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 18 at St. Mark Episcopal Church. Procession will follow afterwards to Haven of Rest Crematory in Bridge City. A gathering of family and friends will be Tuesday, Aug. 17, 6-8 p.m. at Claybar Kelley-Watkins Funeral Home.

Canda was born April 9, 1947 in Orange to Jane and J.C. Childers. She graduated from Stark High School in 1965, and was a duchess in the Neches River Festival that same year. Canda attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. After obtaining her degree in merchandising, Michael and Canda married June 14, 1969. Canda worked as a research assistant at LSU School of Medicine and as a special education teacher at St. Michael in New Orleans while Mike attended medical school and trained in internal medicine at Charity Hospital. They moved to Orange in 1976 where Canda was Mike’s office manager in his private practice. Seven years later she attended the University of Houston taking classes in architectural design while Mike trained to become a pathologist. The couple moved to Beaumont in 1988, and became members of St. Mark Episcopal Church.

 Canda was very active in volunteer work and various organizations including the Symphony of Southeast Texas, the Treasure House at St. Mark, Julie Roger’s Gift of Life, Mary Howell Garden Club, and Beautify Beaumont. She was an avid reader, loved the arts, travel, hiking and most of all enjoyed intimate dinners with friends.

She faced her disease and treatments with optimism, strength, determination and faith. Her concerns during her illness were for others, especially her husband, Michael. He is left to cherish her memory along with her mother, Jane Childers; brother, Terry Childers and wife, Susan; niece, Courtney Dean and husband, Orrin; nephew, Justin Childers and wife, Jeanna; great-niece and -nephew, Karis and Noah Childers; and her mother-in-law, Doris Kessler.
She is preceded in death by her father, J.C. Childers.

The family is grateful to the loving and devoted care given to Canda by Niki Waldrep, LVN, and Michelle Anderson. Sydney Cruse, RN, Libby Taylor, Wanda Johnson, Tonya Minor and Amanda Esclovon eased her journey with affection and humor. Her husband is especially thankful to the fifth floor inpatient rehabilitation staff at Baptist Hospital Beaumont for their compassion and professionalism during Canda’s stay. Special thanks also are extended to Drs. Robert Birdwell, Senthilkumar, George Thomas, Lois Miller, Michael Ong, Steve Cherwaty, Clyde Myers, John Henderson, Daniel Lehane, and Morris Groves at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Professional Health Care Hospice provided much comfort and support for both Canda and Mike during Canda’s final days. Her husband is indebted to Canda’s many friends who visited, called, provided meals, sat during long surgeries and hospital stays, wrote to her, and most of all, loved her.

 If desired, contributions would be welcome in lieu of flowers to Professional Health Care Hospice, the Chaplain’s Fund at Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas, St. Mark Episcopal Church, Julie Roger’s Gift of Life, or a charity of one’s choice.