Benjamin Phillip Kessel

December 18, 1985 ~ September 20, 2020 (age 34)



Engineer and Outdoor Enthusiast

It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the tragic loss of Benjamin Kessel, 34, due to a rock climbing accident in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on September 20. Ben grew up in Natick, MA, and most recently lived in Somerville, MA. He was an avid rock climber who loved the outdoors and taught and led expeditions with the MIT Outing Club. He traveled extensively and rock climbed in countries all over the world, including Nepal, China, Thailand, Patagonia, and Peru.

Ben graduated Natick High School in 2004. He studied mechanical engineering, earning a BS at University of the Pacific in 2009, and an MS at Stanford in 2012. For the past three years he worked as a Control Systems Engineer at Ivenix, Inc., a medical device manufacturer in North Andover, MA. Previously he worked as Principal Test Engineer at CoolChip Technologies, Inc., an electronic cooling startup in Somerville.

Lovingly remembered by his mother, Irene Kessel; father, Paul Costello; brother, Daniel Kessel; uncles and aunts: Martin Kessel and Beverly Rich, Terry Kessel Myers Coney and Aims Coney, Sherry Degroff, Dianna Costello, and Philip Costello; cousins: Corey Myers, Jesica Myers, and Nathan Kessel; and godparents, Ana and Manolo Sanlucar.

A memorial service will be held on Sun. Oct. 4 at 10:30 am, with Zoom participation available. There will be an opportunity for Zoom condolences on Tue. Oct. 6 starting at 6:00 pm, and personal visits the week of Oct. 5-10 by arrangement. Contact for further information.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Ben Kessel Memorial Fund,” which will award grants for engineering studies, research, and entrepreneurship to support nature conservation and combat climate change. Donations may be sent to: PO Box 261, Natick, MA 01760. Online donations available soon. Contact


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