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What Our Families Are Saying...

Thank you so much for all of the help you have given to my family, from the pre-planning, to the on going communication with Kris, to the 'police discount' you gave us because of our niece Jenn Hasbrook. Every detail of our mom's visitation and funeral was absolutely prefect. Your warmth and organization and that of your staff was outstanding. Our family knew the Esslings personally and it is so gratifying to experience your carrying on their legacy so well. We cannot thank you enough!!
Judy Taylor and the Family of
Mary Ann Sudrovech

Judy Taylor

About Us

Frank L. Keszei (Kays' eye) purchased Essling funeral home in August of 2014 after the unexpected death of Mark E. Essling.  Frank brings 41 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 taught 6th grade at LaSalle Academy in South Bend, Indiana and was formerly a senior analyst with The Associate Corporation.  On Christmas day 2014 their son, Adam was in a terrible car accident that has left him a paraplegic. Sue retired early from teaching to care for Adam and oversee his medical treatment and rehabilitation.  She services as the vice president of the funeral home. 

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 (Szabo) 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 (Horvath) and Vincent Keszei owned and operated Vincent’s Tavern/Restaurant in South Bend’s Hungarian neighborhood.  

Frank and Susan are former 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 is involved with many charitable causes.  They now attend La Porte Catholic Churches in La Porte and St. John Kanty in Rolling Prairie. Frank is also a member of the Knights of Columbus St. Micheal Council #1542.

“I consider my profession an honor and privilege.” 

Frank L. Keszei

Mark E. Essling the son of Vincent and Ellen Essling joined the firm as a licensed funeral director in 1976.  Vincent and Ellen Essling died within two weeks of one another in the fall of 1992. Mark E. Essling owned and operated the funeral home until his death in 2014.

After Mark’s death the Essling family was determined to find a Funeral Director to carry-on the family traditions that Mark, Vincent, and Ellen imparted on the community for so many years.  In August of 2014, the Funeral Home was sold to Frank L. Keszei a Funeral Director with 36 years of experience who holds true to the standards set by the founders in 1958. 

The Essling Funeral Home was founded in 1958 by Vincent and Ellen Essling. The original location of the funeral home was 1218 Michigan Avenue, LaPorte, Indiana which was formerly referred to as “Hail Columbia”.  In 1969 a new facility was built adjacent to the original Funeral Home to better serve a growing number of patrons and was the first in LaPorte County to be built specifically as a Funeral Home.  The Funeral Home office is now located in the original building.

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