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Terre Haute attorney dies

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A Terre Haute attorney and former member of the Indiana House of Representatives died Monday.

John A. Kesler Sr., 87, was an attorney in Terre Haute for nearly 60 years. He was admitted to the Indiana and Illinois bars in 1951 after receiving his J.D. from Indiana University School of Law. He served in the House of Representatives from 1969 to 1973.

Kesler also served as probate commissioner of the Vigo Circuit Court and as Vigo County chief deputy prosecutor. He was a member of the American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Indiana State Bar Association and Terre Haute Bar Association.

He was a licensed pilot and served in the South Pacific in the U.S. Army during World War II, receiving four Bronze Stars. Kesler was active in veterans’ affairs and other community organizations. He was commissioned as a Sagamore of the Wabash by then-Gov. Joseph Kernan.

He is survived by his wife, Maxine Weaver Kesler; children Nicki Herrington, Brad (Debby) Kesler, and John (Diana) Kesler II; brother Hurst (Jean) Kesler; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Funeral services are at 1 p.m. Thursday with visitation an hour prior to services at Fitzpatrick Funeral Home, 220 N. Third St., West Terre Haute.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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