Our Staff


Frank L. Keszei

Frank L. Keszei

President & CEO

Frank L. Keszei (Kay's eye) purchased Essling funeral home in August of 2014 after the unexpected death of Mark E. Essling.  Frank brings 36 years of experience to LaPorte and the surrounding communities.  

Frank graduated from Riley High School, South Bend, Indiana in 1978 and began his funeral career with the former Forest G. Hay Funeral Home during his freshman year at Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Indiana.  He continued his education at Indiana State University and Mid-America College of Funeral Service where he graduated class Salutatorian in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science Degree.  

Frank is married to Susan J. (Gregg) and they have three children, Adam, Andrea, and Addyson.  Sue teaches 6th grade at LaSalle Academy in South Bend, Indiana and was formerly a senior programmer and analyst with the Associates Corporation of North America. Frank’s parents Elizabeth and Louis Keszei raised four sons in South Bend where Louie was a Deputy Health Officer for 41 years and Liz a homemaker and artist.  Frank’s grandparents all immigrated to America from Hungary.  His maternal grandparents, Elizabeth and Andy Toth lived in South Bend where he attended The University of Notre Dame and Cornell University and became a successful Architect in Northern Indiana.  His paternal grandparents, Matilda and Vincent owned and operated Vincent’s Tavern/Restaurant in South Bend’s Hungarian neighborhood.  

Frank and Susan are members of St. Matthew Cathedral Catholic Church where Frank served as President of the St. Matthew School Board.  He was past President of the Northern Indiana Funeral Directors Association, a member of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association, the NRA, and has been involved with many charitable causes.  

Telephone: 1-219-362-2722

Email: esslingfuneralhome@gmail.com


Ripley S. Ludlow

Ripley S. Ludlow

Associate

Ripley S. Ludlow, known as Rip has worked at Essling Funeral Home for over 20 years.  Rip is the son of Lee and Mary Ludlow.  Rip has two brothers, Mark (who also works at Essling Funeral Home), and Tim of Herman, Missoouri.

Rip married Shelley (Young) in 1980 and they have two daughters, Kaelynn and Amanda.  Kaelynn is married to Matt Deckard and they have two children.  Amanda married Dee McDonald they also have two children and live in BourbonnaisIllinois.  

Rip and Shelley belong to First United Methodist Church in LaPorte.  Rip graduated from LaPorte High School in 1978 and retired from LaPorte County Emergency Medical Services after nearly 35 years as a Paramedic Supervisor.  

Throughout his career he had the honor to meet President Bill Clinton in 1990, Vice-President Joe Biden in 2002, and Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

Rip and his wife have traveled to Port of Prince Haiti three times for missionary rebuilding efforts.  Rip is currently planning on traveling again to Haiti.       

Telephone: 1-219-362-2722

Email: esslingfuneralhome@gmail.com


Judy Keene

Judy Keene

Executive Administrator/Insurance Agent

Judy serves as an Executive Administrator and  is a licensed insurance agent and reflexologist. She is a lifelong resident of LaPorte County, and a graduate of LaPorte High School.  Judy married Jon Keene in 1982.  Jon serves as Captain with the LaPorte County Sheriff's Department. 

Judy and Jon have three children, Scott, Tami and Rodney; and nine grandchildren.  They attend the United Methodist Church in LaPorte.

One of Judy's greatest enjoyments is her grandchildren, attending their sporting events and cheering them on.  She also loves spending time in a cabin in the mountains with her husband every year.  

Telephone: 1-219-362-2722

Email: esslingfuneralhome@gmail.com


Melissa Hubert

Melissa Hubert

Family Service Advisor

Melissa Hubert is a licensed life and health insurance agent and serves as our Family Service Advisor, overseeing our Advance Funeral Planning programs.  Melissa returned to her hometown of La Porte from Las Vegas, Nevada and Honolulu, Hawaii with over 20+ years of Human Resources and HR Management experience.

Melissa married Robert, who is retired, and they have one son, Bobby.

Melissa received the Ambassador Choice Award, and has received recognition for coordinating charitable contribution campaigns for United Blood Services, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, United Way, non-profit hospice fundraisers to provide care, and the American Heart Association.

Telephone: 1-219-362-2722

Email: missy.esslingfuneralhome@gmail.com


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