Mr. Kevin R. Bessell, 55, of Camp Point, passed away Saturday (July 15, 2023) at his home.
He was born on August 25, 1967, in Quincy, the son of Fred A. and Betty L. Embree Bessell. He married Jamie Brumley Muzio on March 2, 2011. She survives.
Kevin was of the Christian faith and was baptized on August 20, 1978. From an early age, Kevin displayed exceptional athletic talent. He excelled as both a wrestler and a football player during his time at Central High School, graduating with the class of 1985.
After celebrating his birthday on August 25, 1985, Kevin embarked on a new adventure as he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Following his training at boot camp and Sea Duty School in San Diego, California, he was assigned to the Marine Security Detachment aboard the legendary Battleship USS Iowa BB 61. For two remarkable years, Kevin traversed the vast waters of the Atlantic Ocean and journeyed through the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal. His service aboard the "Big Stick" brought him face-to-face with influential dignitaries who stepped aboard its storied decks. It was during this time that he even shared a piece of pie and ice cream with the legendary Bob Hope. His dining experiences extended to hosting dinner for the Dallas Cheerleaders. In a moment that will forever reside in his heart, Kevin proudly participated in the Marine Honor Guard when President Ronald Reagan boarded their illustrious vessel during a visit.
Following this incredible chapter at sea, Kevin received new orders and joined the fleet Marine Force 2nd Marine Division. As an integral part of Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait, he exemplified courage and commitment while serving his country. Undeterred by danger or hardship, Kevin later participated in Operation Just Cause in Panama, eagerly searching for the elusive Noriega. His exceptional service to our nation earned him an Honorable Discharge in July 1991, with the rank of Corporal.
Kevin's dedication to his country continued even after leaving active duty. For ten years, he served as a correctional officer at Mt. Sterling Prison, ensuring the safety and security of his community. Throughout his life, Kevin held various other jobs, constantly seeking new challenges and ways to contribute.
Though Kevin faced his own battles and carried the weight of his experiences on behalf of his country, he remained a pillar of strength and resilience. He courageously confronted the scars left by his service and stood as a testament to the enduring spirit of a true patriot. Despite these challenges, Kevin's unwavering faith in God allowed him to find solace amidst the trials he faced.
In recent years, Kevin's health took a toll on him as he discovered he was diabetic and underwent open-heart surgery. His journey was not an easy one, but through it all, he demonstrated unwavering determination and strength that inspired those around him.
Kevin will be remembered not only for his dedication to his country but also for his love for family and unwavering faith. He held a deep appreciation for classic country music, particularly the works of Hank Williams Sr., and Merle Haggard, and cherished evenings spent listening to the Grand Ole Opry. His love for music was only surpassed by his love for his family.
Kevin's memory will forever be cherished by all who knew him - a man who honored God, country, and family. Though he has left this earthly realm too soon, we take solace that he has been welcomed into heaven with open arms. As we mourn the loss of this remarkable individual, let us remember that Kevin R Bessell now joins the heavenly host at an eternal table set by Saint Peter himself, surrounded by the divine love in paradise.
Surviving is his father, Fred Bessell; his wife, Jamie Bessell; his daughter, Devin Bessell (fiance' Chandler Grave); his son; his stepchildren, Serenity Howard, and Joseph Cloud; his granddaughter, Jillian Grave; three step-grandchildren, James, Jace, and Kinser Springer; his sister, Kimberly Gray (Jason); his neice, Mazi and nephew, Indy; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents; his mother, Betty Louise Bessell; and several aunts and uncles.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church in Camp Point. Burial with military honors will follow at Pleasant View Cemetery, Camp Point.
Visitation will be held Wednesday morning from 11:00 a.m. until the time of services at the First Christian Church.
Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church window fund.
Online condolences may be left at www.hamiltonfuneralhomes.net.
The Lummis Hamilton Funeral Home in Camp Point is handling the arrangements.