Richard H. Kersten, former longtime Pleasantville Village trustee, died peacefully in his home on Friday, April 26, after years of living with cancer. He was 79.
Born on May 9, 1939, in Summit, NJ, “Dick” graduated from Chatham High School, attended Princeton University, and received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Newark College of Engineering.
Dick married his high-school sweetheart, Doris, in 1964 and they were loving partners for 55 years. They settled in Pleasantville, NY, in 1969 when he started a job in Field Engineering with IBM. He enjoyed 29 years with IBM, connecting people with machines and systems. He was known for his problem-solving skills and excellent customer service.
Dick placed a high value on community, immersing himself in his role on the Village Board in Pleasantville for 19 years. In addition, he actively served as a Presbyterian Elder and as a member of Pleasantville Rotary Club. People speak of his kindness, energy, generosity, and interest in mentoring others.
Throughout his life, Dick has had a passion for kites, photography, skiing, hiking, and numerous construction projects (some unfinished). His zest for life encouraged him to take on one project after another, always with a “can do” attitude. In his later years, he led a more quiet lifestyle —consuming a mystery novel every day or two, perhaps adding a game of dominoes, and always enjoying his favorite butter-pecan ice cream, even up until his next-to-last day.
Dick leaves behind his loving wife, Doris; daughter Karen, son-in-law Doug Hellikson, and grandchildren Vera and Roy of Oakland, CA; son Ted and daughter-in-law Clare of Brooklyn, NY; sister Katherine Wallman of McLean, VA; sister-in-law Janet Huston of Scotia, NY; and many dear nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.
The family wishes to give special thanks to Hospice Care in Westchester & Putnam. They also extend warm and loving appreciation to aides Vaughn and Richmond, whose steady, calm presence was a blessing.
Friends are invited to greet the family at Beecher Flooks Funeral Home, 418 Bedford Road, Pleasantville on Friday, May 17, 2:30-4:30pm and 6-8pm. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 18, 4pm, at Pleasantville Presbyterian Church, 400 Bedford Road, Pleasantville.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick’s name may be made to Pleasantville Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund or to the Pleasantville Volunteer Ambulance Corps, PO Box 201, Pleasantville NY 10570. For online condolences and to view Dick’s Book of Memories, please visit beecherflooksfh.com.