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Longevity in North Avondale: 59 Kessler Place

Mrs. Virginia (“Ginny”) Krebs has called 59 Kessler Place HOME for her entire life – all 87 years of it! In fact, she was born in the bedroom that she currently sleeps in. And the family goes back even further……

Ginny’s grandparents, George and Anna Pfaffenberger had a farm on what is now Kessler Place. Around 1925 they moved the homestead back a few feet, had a street put in and started selling plots of land. One of the first buyers, was their son, and Ginny’s father, George and his wife (Ginny’s mother), Rose Pfaffenberger. George and Rose purchased 6 of the lots, built the house at 59 Kessler in 1930 and later added greenhouses and hot beds. By day, George was a carpenter at P&G and Rose managed the home. Virginia was born in 1935 and her sister, Lilian, a few years earlier in l932.

Ginny considered herself much of a “tomboy” growing up. She preferred to play football with the boys and kick the can. She especially loved house projects with her dad. Yet, while in high school at St. Bernard High, she became an accomplished seamstress. In 1951 she designed, made and modelled her dress at the downtown Shillito’s store. She made many of her family’s clothes as well. After high school graduation in l953, she went to work at P&G where she met her husband, Ralph. Their first date was to a Red’s double header. Ginny is still a big baseball fan and had plans to go to the stadium later in the week that I spoke with her! Ralph’s family were bakers. They owned a bakery, called “My Bakery”, located at 1811 Elm Street across from Findlay Market. Ralph passed in 2006.

Ginny recalls that she and her dad rode to work at P&G together. Once home, they all had dinner together and then worked the greenhouses in the evening. Meals were originally prepared by Ginny’s mom and then her grandmother, after her mom passed. Sunday dinners were a big affair; Ginny’s mom would make home made noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, lima beans, lettuce with a hot bacon dressing, and a Roasted chicken with a bread stuffing.

1958 was a big year for Ginny; She got married! She went on a honeymoon to Lake Cumberland and the Smokey Mountains! She quit her job at P&G (as all married woman tended to do!). Her grandmother moved out of the house and Ginny had to learn to cook! As an adult, Ginny loved to bowl and was in several leagues. She and George had a bar in the basement with a Schoenling keg on tap in a Westinghouse refrigerator they had from l937 until 2006 – talk about longevity!!! Additionally, she helped out at the voting polls for about 45 years. She kept busy with the greenhouses, supplying plants to P&G Ivorydale and developing friendships with her St. Bernard and North Avondale customers until they closed the greenhouses in l995-96.

Ralph and Ginny had two children, David and Linda. Both went to North Avondale School and Walnut Hills as did Ginny’s two grandchildren (Amanda and Madeline – David and Jean Krebs’s daughters). All still live in North Avondale or St. Bernard.

Kessler Place is a street where time has stood still. Many current residents are 4th generation. Linda lives there now and David did until 2008, when he moved to Beechwood. Neighbors look out for each other. Back in the day, they help build each other’s houses. Today they share movie night in the cul-de-sac.

Ginny keeps busy! She completes puzzles, is an armchair game show contestant, is active in her church, keeps her weekly hair salon appointment and spends time with her family. She credits her longevity with having faith and going to church, helping others, having family close by, being just a bit stubborn, sometimes threatening the kids that she’s taking them out of the will, and having a glass of wine every night. Sounds like a plan. Please join me in toasting Ginny and her family!

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