Vaya Con Dios, Mike Kesselring


     It’s with great sadness that KCSR, KBPY, and Chadrad Communications pass along word that our sales associate and good friend Mike Kesselring died in his sleep Friday night. Services are pending.

Mike joined Chadrad in early 2019 after he and his wife Linda sold High Plains Homestead and the Drifters Cookshack northwest of Crawford and was immediately a huge success in sales and promotions.

     That wasn’t surprising since although he was new to radio sales, Mike had many years of experience in a variety of venues as an owner and entrepreneur – including more than 2 decades at High Plains, which he and Linda opened with Mike’s parents.

    Mike played a leading role in reinvigorating regional tourism in the Panhandle, especially Northwest Nebraska, but also had a vision for the entire state. He became the first chairman of the Nebraska Tourism Commission after the legislature made it a stand-alone agency.

     Mike also served as an inspiration to many after becoming one of the 1 or 2 individuals in every million receiving a flu shot to develop the debilitating Guillain Barre Syndrome. Initially paralyzed below the waist, his on-going dedication to physical therapy led to his advancing to walk using only canes.

      Mike and Linda were originally from Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota but called Sioux County home for many years and, after selling High Plains, moved into Harrison, where Mike was extremely active in community events.

      Mike’s sister, Romi Brown, posted over the weekend that his extended family had heard many stories of his affection for Northwest Nebraska and love for all the people he met and worked with.

     She says he counted all of them as his great friends and that his family, which has a large hole in their hearts, knows he will be missed by all who knew him.

     Details on services are expected to be finalized Monday with Saturday the likely date of the funeral – celebration of life.

25 thoughts on “Vaya Con Dios, Mike Kesselring”

  1. We’ve lost one of the really good ones. He left a truly positive mark in this world. We’ll miss his wonderful smile and little chats. Prayers and angels go with you, Mike.

  2. They were a good addition to our little town—he always seemed to have a positive attitude—- gone too soon—-so so sorry.

  3. Mike was an intelligent and forward thinking man. I enjoyed working with him while I was on the Crawford City council and enjoyed him more as a friend. RIP my friend

  4. One week ago today I had my last visit from Mike. What a guy. His love for life and family was reflected in every aspect of every day. He will be so missed. My heart goes out to Linda. There was no question she was the love of his life.

  5. As one of Mike’s sisters, I would like NW Nebraska to know we heard many stories of his affection for the area and love for all the people he met and worked with. You were all counted as his great friends. Our family has a large hole in our hearts and we know he will be missed by each of you, too.

  6. Mike was ‘one of a kind’, not only will friends and family miss him but so won’t the whole community. I will miss his kind personality, his unique voice and his friendship. RIP my friend.

  7. I have known Mike for over 40 years. I was honored to call him my friend. He was a stellar radio voice. His positive spin on the world was an admirable aspect of his personality. My condolences to Linda. ❤️

  8. Mike was truly one of a kind with a heart and personality as big as the plains on which he lived and loved. The High Plains was a goto place for good food, great service and a friendly visit! our lives were enriched from having known Mike. sympathy to Linda and family.

  9. Mike and Linda were part of my families life for almost 40 years, starting back when they were in MN. Mike is even our daughter’s godfather! We would make our annual pilgrimage to High Plains around the 4th of July. We LOVED seeing Mike & Linda and loved seeing them interact with everyone who came to High Plains. No one made ribeyes or ribs better! We are heartbroken for Linda and the family, for Harrison, Crawford and Northeast Nebraska. You are one of a kind Mike. I hope heaven is ready for your wit

  10. RIP lifelong friend. Mike and I were best friends growing up in Blue Earth, Minnesota in the 50s and 60s. After Mike’s family moved out of Blue Earth during our teen years, we lost touch. After a mutual friend passed away, Mike located me in 2019. Since then I visited him and Linda twice in Harrison. After 50 years it was if we hadn’t missed a beat. My thoughts and prayers of comfort and grace for Linda and the family.

    I would appreciate being notified by email of the funeral arrangements.

  11. Our prayer to Linda and family, you all made our deer hunt trips the best of times, we will miss Mike and his friendship
    Farewell from THE BELLEVUE BOYS

  12. Mike and Linda always had a cold drink and a good chat at the ready when I delivered their mail back in the day at the Cookshack. I’ve had many a visit with him since then too. I’ll miss you Mike. RIP friend. I send you my love and prayers Linda.

  13. Mike was such a unique person, he will be missed dearly. We had so much fun with our trips to High Plains Homestead over the years.

  14. Mike was one of the few people who went to bat for me and gave me a chance at a second life. I would not be alive today without his intervention in my life. I owe him a debt that I have worked and will continue to work to pay back.

  15. a second chance….or even another chance….mike would not give up on a person he might be able to help. Nice to read your comment.

  16. I got word this morning that a giant of a man left us yesterday. Mike Kesselring went to see the lord. I was shocked and crushed all in one. Mike was best man at Debby and our wedding. But he was more than just “a best man”, he was a real all American cowboy who I compared many times to my favorite cowboy, Jimmy Stewart. I met Mike and his lovely wife Linda who we also cherish years back when he built the High Plains Homestead in North west Nebraska. Mike and Linda and his dad Merlin and his mom Roberta ran the homestead. Within a few years the High plains homestead became a top award winning bed and breakfast in the state of Nebraska winning the prestigious HENRY FONDA award.
    Yes I took my many fossil hunting groups to the High plains for years. The food was better than anyplace we ever ate in Nebraska and South Dakota. And Mike and Linda were the very best host and hostess we ever saw. But then it goes deeper than that as Mike was a great historian as well as rancher and cowboy. The many fossil hunters that came to stay at the home place lived mine and his stories as well as Linda just being the Angel that she is. Yes he was kind to everyone as well as a gentleman to the ladies and children.
    After several years Mike and Linda sold the High plains homestead and they moved to nearby Harrison Nebraska and Mike got a job at the well known radio station in the region called, KCSR in Chadron Nebraska. And just like the talent that Mike had taking care of the home place he was great at helping the radio station in Chadron be more successful.
    So as I get older the news about a friend passing becomes more frequent and more frequent.
    So now I’ll name a fantastic fossil at my World Fossil Finder Museum here in Hot Springs after Mike.
    Bless him and his family as my heart slowly weeps.

  17. Mike’s passing is a tremendous loss for Chadron and truly all of the region. His ability to promote our part of rural America and the surrounding region to tourists highlighted all of us as treasures and this area as a tourist paradise. Whenever I took one of CSC’s Elderhostel groups in the direction of the High Plains Drifters Cookshack, Merlyn, Roberta, Mike, and Linda made sure that everyone had a delicious meal and a piece of those delectable pies! Their contagious positive attitudes and personalities made any day a better day. How lucky we are to have had Mike come into our lives.

  18. Mike was such a cheerleader for western Nebraska! The Legacy him and his wife left at the High Plains Cookshack was tremendous! We at Mobius appreciated his dedication to the radio station and the promotions he always was proud to represent to us as customers! RIP

  19. Mike was such a special man . He was always willing to help anyone who needed it . He had a wonderful smile and personality . If you were having a bad day a call or visit from Mike would lift your spirits. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him . He was taken too soon . Sending prayers for the family Rest in peace my friend .

  20. Northwest Nebraska will not soon forget the name Mike Kesselring.
    A powerhouse in the tourism realm, and someone I was proud to call “friend”.
    You will be missed terribly good sir.
    Lots of love to you & Linda from our entire Agate Fossil Beds National Monument family.

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