Mike Kesselring – UPDATED


Funeral Services for 69-year old Mike Kesselring of Harrison, NE, are Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 2:00 at the Harrison Bible Church in Harrison, NE.

Burial will be at the Harrison Cemetery..

A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.

Online condolences may be left at

Michael Asa Kesselring was born Jan 27th 1954, in Blue Earth, MN, to Merlin and Carol Kesselring, and passed away May 13, 2023, at his home.

Mike grew up and lived in Blue Earth, which he quickly departed after high school to serve in the U.S Military as an Army Military Police. When he got out, he moved to Montana and met the beautiful Linda Joy at the Silver Spur restaurant and bar. After a kiss on New Year’s Eve, just 1 minute before midnight…it all began. Marriage, kids, and then back to Minnesota for college.

After earning his degree, he and his business partner opened their own practice and treatment center acting as Chemical dependency counselors. In the meantime, a notion by Merlin and Roberta Kesselring began the inspiration and vision that led to building and working The High Plains Homestead in 1996.

In 1998, Mike and Linda departed Minnesota and permanently moved to the badlands to ultimately take over and run The High Plains Homestead. Upon the retiring of Merlin and Roberta, Mike, Linda and family took over the Cookshack and continued creating what many of us remember today.

With many years of success under their belt, ample stories, countless memories and too many visitors to count over cowboy beans, fresh grilled steaks by Mike himself and of course Linda’s famous home-made pies, the Homestead and Cookshack was an absolute hit, not only for visitors but for locals alike.

You certainly didn’t get the full experience unless you took a moment to get around the fire with Mike and hear one of his many colorful stories. Well, because after all we can’t let a little truth get in the way of a good story”.

After selling in 2019, they moved on to new ventures with Mike partnering up with Chadrad Communications and becoming the local radio celebrity and top selling salesperson in the history of Chadrad communications.

Residing in Harrison, they have been active members of the Harrison Bible Church where Mike was an active participant in the worship team. Along with many of his accomplishments and engagements, Mike was a mentor to many, a substitute teacher, community leader, and active civic engagement speaker.

He served as the president of the Western Nebraska Tourism Coalition Board along with being the Chair of the Sioux County Travel Board and avid supporter of mutual collaboration, enhancing tourism and community promotions that result in organic success for everyone.

Mike had a profound ability to richly enhance the lives of those around him through his bright, and eccentric personality that was completely contagious.

Mike will always be remembered as the biggest “tall tale teller” of our time, community supporter, relationship builder, bullshitter, who ultimately cared and loved the folks around him more than he cared about our opinion about him, and that will forever have a lasting impact on our entire community, counties far and wide.

Mike is survived by his spouse Linda Joy Kesselring; his kids Nick Kesselring, Angie and Jeff Mullen; sisters Sue Olson, Romi Brown, and Annette Mahone.

Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements for Mike Kesselring.

11 thoughts on “Mike Kesselring – UPDATED”

  1. RIP MY FRIEND I worked at the cook shack for 2 summers honestly best bosses both Linda and Mike were great people. I am really sad to hear this devastating loss of Mike. Sending lots prayers and hugs for Linda. ❤️❤️

  2. Linda, we do not have the words to express our sadness at losing Mike! I’ll just bet he’s telling some whoppers up in heaven!
    You are very special to us, & when I see you, I’m looking forward to one of our big hugs! We send you sympathy, love & prayers during this sad time .
    Our sympathy to all of you!

  3. We are so sad to hear of Mike’s passing, He was a true “character” that are few and far between anymore. Mike and Linda contributed so much to our communities! Our condolences to Linda and their family

  4. Our entire family of rangers here at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument mourn your loss.
    You Sir…Will Be Missed!
    Working with you over the years was an absolute pleasure.
    Your dedication & love for NW Nebraska Tourism is unmatched!
    Safe Travels to our friend!

  5. I only met Mike a couple of times but after the first he always remembered my name. Mike was a true friend to all and never met a stranger. He will be missed deeply. Rest easy Mike.

  6. Linda,
    Jim and are are so saddened at your loss! However, we have the joy of knowing we will see Mike again! You all are never far in our thoughts. We send our prayers for grace, wisdom, and peace during this time of difficult transition. Jim recounts his memories of learning Mike’s “Cowboy Coffee” recipe many times. <3
    Jim and Kristina Goodwin
    Alliance, NE

  7. Linda,
    Eldon and I are so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. So many wonderful memories of visiting with both of you and being at the Cookshack many times for your wonderful food. Sending you and your family prayers and know we are thinking of you at this sad time. Mike was certainly one of a kind.
    Eldon and Janett Wohlers

  8. Deb and I were sad to hear the news of Mike’s passing. I had the pleasure of working with Mike in his water operator capacity as well as knowing him at the Drifter’s Shack. His presence in this world left a huge impact on others and he will be dearly missed.

  9. So sorry to hear about Mike. Although it has been many years since our paths have crossed – I will never forget him!
    I was married to his cousin. When Mike was going to MSU, he would crash on our couch a couple days a week so he wouldn’t have to drive all the way back to Blue Earth.
    After reading about his life – all I can say is WOW! What an amazing man! He and Linda lived an interesting life!
    My thoughts go out to the family.

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