Friday, February 12, 2010

In Memoriam

On Thursday, February 11, 2010 Phillip Andrew Kesler passed peacefully from this life into the next. His wife, Heidi, and daughter, Eden were home with him at the time of his passing. He had fought metastatic colorectal cancer for the past three years. During that time, he continued to serve his church and to teach graphic design at Jacksonville State University. He held degrees (BA, MFA) in art from Utah State University and has been an Assistant Professor at JSU since fall 2005. He loved design, typography, and especially his students and colleagues.

Phil was also a member of Voice Male, an award-winning contemporary a cappella group based in Utah. He loved music (both vocal and piano) and poetry.

Phil was born in Midvale, UT on July 23, 1968. He served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan. In addition to his wife and daughter, Phil is survived by his parents Claudia and Orson Kesler of Alpine, UT; and brothers: Matt (Tauna) of Liberty, MO; Dan of Taylorsville, UT; Ken of Thousand Oaks, CA; Aaron of Alpine, UT; and Steve (Morgann) of Salt Lake City, UT.

145 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about the loss of Phil. I don't know him personally but I have attended several concerts in which he performed and I am honor to have experience the wonderful talent the Voice Male has shared with us. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  2. Dear VoiceMale Members and Families~
    I grieve with you. Like the one who commented above, I do not know Phil, but he must be a good man. I extend my condolences to his wife and daughter, especially. On behalf of my older brothers (aka SIX) in Branson, MO, I also extend my condolences. We love you and you will be in my prayers.

    Sincerely,

    Brent Knudsen

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  3. Oh my goodness! I teared up reading all that! I too am saddened by the passing of this amazing man. I personally didn't know him, but he, along with Voice Male, has touch many, many lives with music. He will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends at this time! God be with you...

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  4. No one could croon like "Smooth Phil"! We will miss Phil! -Vilate Thacker and family

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  5. i am sad at the news of his passing. we as a family have enjoyed the entertainment and testimonies that are shared. my heart goes to his family at this time. it is a blessing that we know he will live on forever and what a grand reunion there will be when his family will see him again. sing away in heaven phil!!!

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  6. This is such devastating and sad news to hear. He has such an incredible smooth tenor voice that I could listen to for hours. I was especially touched at the Christmas concert this last December when he had his lovely wife come on stage and he sang to her. My heart goes out to her and to their young daughter. These are the times that I am especially grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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  7. My heart and prayers go out to Phil's family and extended voicemale family. He had a beautiful voice and stage presence with a testimony that could be felt throughout the audience. I didn't know that he had cancer and it shows how incredible he was to keep up the concerts and programs while suffering through this terrible disease. There is a new star in the sky shining just for Eden. Eden know that you're dad is watching over you through that star and he loves you and your mom more than you'll ever know.

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  8. I am sorry to hear of Phil's passing. He will be missed by all. My prayers are with his family and his Voice Male family.

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  9. I remember Phil from the fine arts lab at USU. Always there to help and to share what he knew of computer Design. I loved going to Voicemail Concerts both at USU and as much as I could after. My prayers go out to his family at this hard time. He will be missed.

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  10. I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Phil. I have known Phil and the Voice Male family since they first started out several years ago and have been to many of their concerts. Phil had an incredibly smooth singing voice and stage presence. And I loved listening to him perform. I can listen to him for hours. My condolences go out to his family and his Voice Male family. He was a great man and he will be missed greatly.

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  11. I too have been to many concerts by Voice Male... I am so sorry to hear this tragic news. My condolences go out to his family and friends!!

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  12. I will miss hearing Phils smooth voice as part of Voice Male. His music will live on in his Cd's and our memories. My thoughts and prayers are with Heidi and Eden, and the rest of Phils family.

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  13. I've been to many concerts and have met Phil in person many times. He and I would exchange a few words in Chinese and have a good laugh. I will miss him....

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  14. My heart and prayers go out to Phil's family and Voice Male fans everywhere. I have been a fan since the early days. "The Shadow of Your Smile" will forever be one of my favorite songs, thanks to Phil. God be with you 'til we meet again.

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  15. Bernd, Shirlene and Kimberly KohnleinFebruary 13, 2010 at 7:57 PM

    Our family has enjoyed Voice Male for as long as we can remember. Our hearts and prayers go out to Heidi and Eden and the rest of Phil's family and friends. He is one who will never be forgotten. Thank you for sharing your lives with us and making us feel a part of your extended families. A beautiful voice has been added to that Heavenly Choir. May Heavenly father bless you all-for sharing your talents and lives with us for so long. We love you all. Thank you and may God bless.

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  16. I am in total shock right now. I haven't followed you guys in a while due to life & raising kids... I have such great memories with Phil going on the road with you guys when you used to tour with New Horizons. I used to chat with him in the halls at USU when I worked up there & then we fell out of contact. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I would love to attend the funeral. Will you post when & where it will be?

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  17. I was so sad to read about his passing. He shared so much talent with all of and the world will miss all the brought to the stage. We want to send our condolences to his family and the entire Voice Male family (esp. the Bearden's - love you guys!). Our thoughts are prayers will be with you during this sad time.

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  18. What a loss for the public as well as the voicemale family. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family as well as his fellow voicemale members. He won't be replaceable in the group.

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  19. I am sending my love to Phil's family. I so loved Phil. He was my best bud in high school. His example is always present for me. He is a true friend. Please know that I am thinking of you and all of those who Phil has touched through his life.

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  20. Brother and Sister Farley are saddened and surprised at the news of Phil's passing. Along with other members of VoiceMale, Phil is one of our favorite people. We will miss his silky smooth voice, gentle personality and sense of humor. If anyone makes it to heaven, surely Phil will be there. Though we are saddened, many on the other side will be gladdened at the presence of this wonderful man. Our sympathies are extended to his family members.

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  21. I am so sorry for your loss. I attended the Voice Male concert at WSU just a couple of months ago and I'm so glad I did. My 7 year-old son just loves Voice Male and listens to their CD's often. It won't be the same without Phil. God bless all of you at this difficult time.

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  22. As fans of Voice Male, my family and I express our sympathy to Phil's wife and daughter and to his fellow musicians. May you feel peace through Christ!

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  23. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of this wonderful man. It is very hard since my husband and I love his voice and his amazing joy for live. Our prayers are with his family and also his brothers in the group. Thank you for sharing him with us his fans. He has truly touched our family and will not be forgotten. God be with you till we meet again.

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  24. I knew Phil from USU and I am devastated by the loss. As a fellow graphic designer he was an incredible guy plus I could tell he would be a fantastic teacher. I know he will be with his wife and daughter again, and I want to pay my respects that I hope you know you had a fantastic and amazing husband/father! Our prayers are with you at this time. And hugs to all of you! He will never be forgotton!

    Shari and Dan, Layton, UT

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  25. Phil is a big hero in my family. When I was in the Adams Park Ward, my parents came to visit. It didn't help that I played the organ and couldn't sit by them or give them an orientation as to where to go to Sunday School. But Phil was there. He introduced himself, made sure they felt comfortable in a singles ward and then helped them get to where they needed to be for the next class. A few months later Voice Male did a concert where my parents lived. They were so excited to see the "nice man from the funny ward" singing. They went to up to talk to Phil afterwards and he remembered who they were. My mom got all teared up when I told her the sad news. As for myself, I will never forget his kindness to Susie at the Harry Potter show and the great meals he cooked for Dinner Group. I have followed Voice Male since the beginning days at USU and have been uplifted and strengthened by great wholesome music. My heart goes out to the Voice Male family and to Heidi and Eden. I hope you feel the love and comfort of the Savior as you work through the loss of such a great person.

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  26. I met Phil and the rest of Voice Male a few times when I was young. They were the first concert I ever went to. I automatically fell in love with the group. Phil became my favorite, he was so kind and funny. He was such a wonderful, talented singer and a great poet. Phil sang "Barbara-Ann" to me when I met Voice Male at Ensign Book in Upland, Ca and "Shadow of your Smile" is one of my favorite songs. My family and I are extremely saddened and sorry for your loss.He will be deeply missed. Your family is in our prayers.

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  27. How very sad. My thoughts and prayers are with his family

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  28. Anyone who knows Voice Male has been and will be touched by this news. For me it brings tears of both sad and happy, sad that Heidi and Eden are temporally left behind for a while and happy because of the peace eternity means to him and his family. Our family too has been touched and have loved concerts and CD's from Voice Male and in so many ways felt a personal connection to them. Thank you Phil for sharing your talent and time with Voice Male fans especially while being sick, what a great example to us all. A song that the Tabernalce choir sang on their Love Is Spoken Here album that has helped me after tha passing of my father is May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You, my father was monotone but I know he sings that from heaven to my mother and our family I'm sure Phil is using his "smooth" singing voice and singing that as well to his hugh family.

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  29. As a long-time fam of Voice Male and a USU alum I was saddened to hear of Phillip's passing, and I add my condolences to those of other admirers of his contribution to the talented group.

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  30. My family is deeply saddened at the passing of Phil. We so enjoyed Voice Male and attending their concerts. Our heart felt sympathy to his wife and daughter, to the other members of Voice Male, their group won't be the same without him.

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  31. "It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; 'tis rather an embryo state, a preparation for living; a man is not completly born until he be dead: why then should we grieve that a new child is borm among the immortals?" - Benjamin Franklin - God bless you and your family - Kevin Wilding

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  32. What a huge loss. It seems comforting at least to note that he has left behind many amazing CD's for his daughter, family and friends to hear and stay close to him through.

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  33. Phillip (sorry he will always be Phillip to me) and I were friends from the day we were born. Our parents were friends, we were best friends growing up. We built haunted houses together, we swam together, went to church and school together, played together, sang together. We went to each others birthday parties. I pray for comfort, peace and love to his beautiful wife and daughter.

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  34. So sad to hear about this. Hearing him sing in concerts was such a joy! God bless you all!

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  35. I'm so sorry to hear the news. My heart goes out to Voice Male and, more importantly, Phil's family.

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  36. I have been a fan of Voice Male since they got together...they used to come and sing at early morning devotionals at my High School. I have all the CD's, and we go to the Christmas Concert every year. My thoughts and Prayers go Phil's family and the Voice Male family. Thank you Phil for sharing your talents, and to all the members of Voice Male!

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  37. I first met Phil in about 1995, and I've enjoyed several opportunities to hang out with him and the other Voice Male guys since then. It's safe to say that Phil was one of the nicest, most generally pleasant people I've ever met. "The Shadow of Your Smile" continues to be one of my absolute favorite Voice Male songs ever. Future Christmas concerts, in particular, will feel empty without the annual "Family Poetry" reading. Thank you, Phil. We'll miss you. - Sean Grubb

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  38. Phil was a great man, we will all miss him. But I just am glad to know that we will all see him again, and that right now, Heavenly Father just needs him up in the spirit world, to do missionary work.

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  39. My prayers are with Heidi, Eden and the whole Voicemale family. I'm sorry to hear of your loss and pray that you will be strengthened through this experience. Phil will be greatly missed!

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  40. I'm so very sorry to hear this news. Phil always took time to talk to me before and after shows. He was so positive and he will be sooo missed. Heidi and Eden are in my thoughts and prayers. He was a beautiful example of living his faith, loving others and sharing his talent. It makes me smile to remember his subtle humor on stage and off. I'll always consider him a friend.

    Monica "buckwalter" Kelly and family

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  41. The notice that I received of Phil's passing was definitely a shock to me. Especially after seeing Voice Male in Logan Utah for their Christmas concert just two months ago. I can recall my first experience being entertained and uplifted by Voice Male a few years back when I went to my first Christmas concert. Nothing brought more peace to me than Phil's Beautiful rendition of "I'll be home for Christmas". It's what I looked forward to hear every year. My prayers and thoughts are with the family and group. And Phil, Thank you for bringing Home closer to me each year.
    -Logan "Moose" Gumucio

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  42. We did not have the opportunity to know Phil for very long in this life, but we can attest to his charitable nature and life of service as just days before his passing we were the beneficiaries of his kind, generous nature. Our family was involved in a car accident while traveling home from a friend's wedding, and found ourselves stranded on the side of the road in a small town in Alabama with six children, my husband and myself. He and his wife volunteered their car to be used by my husband to make arrangements to fix our car and trailer, so we could find our way home to Atlanta. We were so touched by their generosity and trusting nature. Upon arriving home, I was telling a good friend of mine about our "adventure" and how we had met the nicest people. She mentioned that the missionary who had baptized her into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints twenty years before in New Hampshire happened to live in the same small town where we had broken down. When she told me her name is Heidi and her husband is Phil, I was shocked. For, who could have guessed the coincidence of us meeting her friend. We were so sad to hear that Phil passed from this earth before we could offer a sincere thank you for his generosity and help. We know that Phil will continue to serve his fellow man in the heavens and pray that comfort and peace will be showered down upon his wonderful wife, Heidi and his smart, adorable little girl. For they are truly examples of Believers-- not just being hearers of the word, but doers of the word. Thank you for blessing our family during your own time of need.

    With love, admiration and sympathy,
    The Gregerson Family
    Lawrenceville, Georgia

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  43. I am so sad to hear of Phil's passing! We have made Voice Male a part of our Christmas traditions and he will be missed. He had a great voice and one of my favorites to listen to. My favorite part of the show was the big posters Phil had someone hold from the audience and they all had the same sentence written on them. It made me laugh everytime as he ran on and off the stage as he fixed them or put them in a different order! My heart goes out to his family he left behind!
    Jennifer-Utah

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  44. Gale and I are saddened to learn of Phillip's passing, but only because of our selfishness. We do know that he will be pretty busy on the other side of the veil. Gale has known Phillip from birth, and spent many wonderful occasions boating and camping with the Kesler family. The first time I went to Bear Lake with their family, I learned that Phillip had a great affinity for brownies. I brought a big batch of my secret brownie recipes, and he really loved them; gobbled up several if I recall correctly. What a neat guy, with a wonderful baritone voice and a charming wit. He set a great example of what our Savior would have us do.

    Linda and Gale Stradley
    American Fork, UT

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  45. I just learned of Phil's passing late last night and I was so sad to hear the news. I had no idea he was battling this terrible disease. I have seen Voice Male perform for years and have loved each and every performance. Phil did not show any signs of illness at this year's Christmas concert, which shows what a remarkable man he was. I was greatful for the testimony he shared both with his words and his music. Our prayers are with his family and his Voice Male family. Voice Male will not be the same without him. ~Holly

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  46. We saw Voice Male for the first time last year at Christmas time. What a wonderful experience. Our thoughts and prayers are with Phil's family. He was a man of extraordinary class. What a blessing to have a father, husband, son and brother you can be very proud of. I'm sure he will be greatly missed.

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  47. What a shock! Phil... you will be deeply missed by many. How lucky for the other side to have you, although we will all miss you deeply. An amazing singer, a good friend and I would assume an incredible family man. Your smile and beautiful voice will be missed but our biggest prayers are with the 2 beautiful women who will miss you every day.

    We love you!

    JL
    Tremonton, UT

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  48. We're so sad at the news of Phil battle with cancer and his passing away last night. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Heidi and Eden, his other immediate family members, and his Voice Male family. He will be greatly missed.

    Brandon & Renee Shaffer

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  49. We are so sorry to learn of Phillip's passing last night from Cancer. Gale has known Phillip from birth, in fact has been good friends with his dad since they were both single and in the National Guard. He, and his beautiful voice, will be sorely missed.

    Linda and Gale Stradley

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  50. Deeply sorry to learn of Phil's passing. Our hearts go out to you all at this time.

    Wendy Spencer (Yuma, AZ)

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  51. I want to send my deepest prayers and thoughts. Phillip is one of my very dearest and my oldest childhood friend. Our parents were friends before he and I were ever born. As I got the news today my heart aches. I can't imagine what you as his family must be feeling. I want you to know that my love and prayers are going your way. I hope you feel our Saviors comfort with you. My heart is heavy. Thank you for touching so many lives with your music and for being there for my childhood friend.

    Jill Schneider Eldred

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  52. We are very sorry about the loss of Phil!!! We heard your group years ago when you came to our stake in San Diego CA when our neice was in your group. We loved you then, still love you and have all your CD's.

    LuAnn Preston

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  53. We are very saddened by the news of Phil's passing. We have been fans of
    "Voice Male" for the last several years, and have truly enjoyed the spirit we feel
    during the concerts, (not to mention the talent,fun, laughter and love between you guys). Thank you!

    Our love & prayers are with all of you, but most especially Phil's family. May the
    Lord's choistest blessings be with you always.

    Dick and Cheryl Houskeeper

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  54. I have never missed a voicemale concert since my parents first took me at least 4 years ago. I always spent the most time talking to him. He was my favorite member. Ito am a member of the LDS Chuch, I will give my peryers to his family.I will miss him so much.

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  55. I just want to say that I am sad to hear of the passing of Phil and I offer prayers to his family, friends and Voicemale, and to any that need the comfort of our Lord. May God and Heaven bless you in this time of need and sorrow and know that his spirit lives on thru all that knew him. Thank you to all that made him who he was.

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  56. Phil coined a phrase in our group that has often been repeated by various members of the group..."What are we doing?". This phrase always followed a moment when reflecting on some great experience the group had been blessed with. So many awesome experiences over the last decade and a half, all experienced with a group of great men and their wives. As I read the outpouring of love for Phil as a member of this group, I can't help but think he has to be saying, "What are we doing?" Thanks so much to everyone for the support through happy times and sad. I don't listen to our music very often, but have found joy in listening lately remembering the place Phil held in our group as the smooth baritone, the calming influence, the stalwart example of strength, the subtly funny guy, and the great friend to all of us. I hope he has many more "What are we doing?" moments to come.

    Mike Bearden

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  57. Our family has been to at least a concert or two every year since the beginning of Voice Male. Phil's velvet voice was so pleasant to listen to. He'll certainly sing with the angel a capella choir. We wish his family well, they will be in our prayers. The Hales Family of Fruit Heights, Utah.

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  58. We are so sorry to hear about your loss and will keep your family in our prayers!! We appreciate you being willing to let him share his talents with so many and the spirit that great music can bring. Thank you!

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  59. When they started i rememeber them coming to my high school. I have been to so many concerts phil is the man. He will be missed. And I wish the best for Amy and his daughter Eden. Our PRayers are with you.

    Michael and stefanie Moore and family.

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  60. I met Phil back in 1995 or so when we both worked at USU, I was the liason in the printing department and he was the graphic artist. We produced many publications together. He had a terrific sense of humor and we got along terrifically. I enjoyed seeing him at VM concerts and was overjoyed when he finally met the love of his life. I will truly miss him and the laughs he brought into my life. My heart goes out to his wife and daughter, as well as his parents and siblings. Heaven has received another strong angel.. Ann Loney

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  61. I have been a fan of Voice Male for years. My sincere love and condolences to you all.

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  62. Oh my goodness! I have been a fan of Voice Male for years as well and will dearly miss Phil. I am so grateful he was able to share his talents with Voice Male and appreciate all the time it must have taken, especially traveling so far to return to Utah for concerts. My prayers and condolences go out to his family and close friends. We will miss him. Candy Steinhorst and family

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  63. I am so sorry for the loss of Phil Kesler. He always seemed like the quiet, gentle rock among the Voice Male crew. My thoughts and prayers are with his dear wife and daughter and all those who are deeply feeling the loss of this loved one at this time.

    God be with you all.

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  64. I have posted comments on emails, Facebook, and Blogs for days now, but I want one for all of VM to read. I remember you guys polishing off two "huge" pans of chicken enchiladas at my home in LaVerne Ca. a few years ago..also arriving as soon as the peanut butter cookies exited the oven. These were happy days..today, not quite as happy. I hope someday we may understand why things happen the way they do..but for now I go on Faith, and hope that JOY (that I know Phil would want us to have) will return to our lives again soon,..and we may all be able to "sing a song". I mourn with you, especially because my kids are "hurting"....Mike B. and Suz B McFarland. I pray for God's choicest blessings to be upon you, VM., and that those big smiles will soon return for us all. I love you.

    Lois Madsen (Mike Bearden's mom)

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  65. I was so shocked and heartbroken to hear about Phil! Like many others have said on here, I did not know him personally but he has definantly touched the hearts of my family! We love voicemale and have followed them from the begining. We will all miss the beautiful sound of Phil's voice! I am sure he was an amazing person and he will be deeply missed!

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  66. Thank you so much for sharing your lives and talents with all of us. My family feels blessed to have been able to attend several concerts here in Logan. In our hearts your concerts in the future will always have an empty place on the stage for Brother Kesler. May the Lord bless the Kesler family as well as the VoiceMale family, and we look forward to your return to Logan, Utah.

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  67. Oh my word...
    The breath was knocked out of me when I read the email and learned about Phil's passing. My heart is broken and my prayers and thoughts are with you Heidi. What an amazing man Phil is. Eden, you can be so proud of your daddy...he will watch over you and be near you when you need him. We're so blessed to understand the eternities and know that your little family will be together again.
    My Mom is one of the Voice Male Grandma's, she doesn't do the computer so I'm writing this for the both of us. Grandma Leah was heartbroken when I just called and told her about Phil. She loves Phil, and ALL of her boys soooooo much. Phil, you will be truely missed, but Heaven has an amazing Angel to add to the choir.
    May you feel God's love and the love we have for you and your family and for the Voice Male family. Like Grandma Leah just said, "We'll see ya soon."
    Linnea Earl

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  68. myself and my family would like to offer condolences to the kesler family during what i'm sure is a difficult time in their lifes, i have been going to the voice male christmas 6 years now and without phil the voice male concert will not be the same, i testify to the kesler family that phil is with our lord and savior christ may the lord watch over and comfort you guys is my prayer in the name the of jesus christ amen. you will be missed phil

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  69. I have been listening to Voice Male since my sister first introduced me to it back in the late 90's. I knew Phil while I was a student of Graphic Design at USU. He was always so nice. This is truly a great loss. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his group, who I know was like his second family.

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  70. I went through USU a few years before Voice Male was formed, so I only know them through CDs and concerts. Phil was my favorite, as my voice is closest to his. When I'm in the car, singing along with a CD, I always sing Phil's part.

    May his family be comforted and strenghthened during this time.

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  71. I am in complete sorrow and shock, my heart is broken. There are no words quite appropriate, however, I send my love to his family who I never got to meet. I met Phil my first year of college while singing with him in New Horizons, we became fast friends and were lovingly teased that he sang like silk and I sang like butter :)He will always be dear friend.

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  72. i have always loved voice male. i did not know phil personally, but he will be sorely missed. he was a brilliant contribution to this magical singing group. i am very sorry.

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  73. We have loved your music since attending our first concert. My boys and little girl have all your songs down so that they sing along everytime we have them playing. We truly missed Phil last year when we was not able to travel and participate with your Christmas concert in our hometown here in Utah. My oldest son especially loved Phil! We are so sorry for your loss. May you quickly find the peace that Phil would want his great friends and family to have.

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  74. We didn't really know Phil, but we loved his music. I am so grateful that Voicemail included my Hopekids family to attend his last concert in December, where my son, a cancer survivor got to see Phil and the whole group for the first and last time. My familys prayers go out to Phil's family, he will truly be missed.
    Ginger Schneidewend

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  75. I didn't know Phil, but I worked with his brothers, Steve and Dan, and they are two of my favorite people. If Phil was anything like them, he was a very good man. Steve played a cd of Voice Male once and I thought it was amazing. This is a tragic loss, and my prayers are with all of you.

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  76. Phil and Voice Male were very influential in my young (what was later to become professional) a cappella life. He was a great man, and I was shocked to hear the news. I'm praying for the best for his family and friends.

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  77. My children have literally grown up listening to Voice Male--in the car, at Christmas, on Sundays, at concerts. In a way, Phil has been singing to them for their entire lives--and he'll continue to.

    One of my favorite Voice Male memories was the private "concert" at John L & Valerie's wedding lunch.

    Keeping the Kesler family in my prayers,

    Annette (Luthy) Lyon
    (John L's cousin)

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  78. My cousin (Darin) was in the group when it first started many moons ago and have loved Voice Male ever since! Phil and his wonderful singing voice will be greatly missed by me and many others. My heart and prayers go out to his wife and daughter and friends. May they find the peace and love they need and desire.

    Lesa (Lowery) Bingham

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  79. Our love and support go out to Phil's family and The Voice Male Family. You are all in our prayers. Much Love from The Goodfellows in the Bay Area.

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  80. I'm not sure words can express how I felt when I heard the news about Phil...I truely didn't believe it...

    Phil was my graphic design instructor at USU when he was doing his graduate work. It was then that I was first introduced to Phil, the person and Phil, a member of Voicemale. As I was thinking about this sad news a couple days later, I realized Phil was one of the main instructors that taught me all of the software and skills I now use on a daily basis. I don't know that he would've remembered me, but each and every time I went to a concert during school and in the six years since I've graduated, I remembered Phil.

    But even more important than that, Phil, along with his friends in Voicemale have been a part of our family traditions for close to ten years. It was shortly after I graduated from USU that we took my grandmother and great-aunt, both 85+ years old, to their first Voicemale concert. They enjoyed themselves so much, it has been a tradition ever since. Heidi, I have never met you, but I would like you, Eden, and Phil's family to know how much joy he and the group have brought to our family. I hope that through your time of sorrow, you are able to read some of the stories from the people on this board and smile in knowing what a special man he was and the joy and memories he has played a part in for so many people. My grandmother and great-aunt have had so much fun laughing, crying, and singing along at the concerts, there is nothing that can replace that memory for them. Phil played a large part in that.

    Personally, I owe him a great deal because, like so many others, he shared his graphic design knowledge with me and I have been able to begin a career with that knowledge. And for that I say thank you!

    I am truely sorry for your loss. What a courageous man he must have been to fight this battle in silence all while continuing to put others first, whether in entertaining, teaching, serving and/or more. He will be greatly missed!

    Melissa Thomas

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  81. My heart is so sad! Our prayers are with Phil's family and Voice Male.

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  82. I'm so sad for the loss of Phil! What an extraordinary man and teacher he is! He was an graphic design teacher of mine at USU. I learned so much from him. In fact, a couple days ago I was thinking about him, before I heard of his passing. and some of the things I learned from him. He will be greatly missed.

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  83. The Kimball Family has the fun family tradition of attending the annual Christmas Voice Male concert in Cache Valley. Our thoughts and prays go out to Phil's family and please know that he has brought our family many years of joy during the holidays. Thanks for sharing him with us.

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  84. I have been lucky enough to follow Voice Male from the beginning when they were a much larger group. They sang at ward functions and I've them in concert innumerable times, working at concerts when they were in Logan. Phil and I worked together when his office was in the top floor of the University Inn. My heart is heavy as I contemplate the early loss of such a genuinely kind and happy man. He will be missed by many. We are so blessed to have known him and to know there is a greater plan for him and all of us. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share.
    Marci

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  85. Having been a Voice Male admirer for years, I was saddened to hear of Phil's passing. He and Heidi were so helpful to our Ulster Project when the group did a benefit concert for our organization. What big hearts they have as does the group in the service they render and enjoyment they give with their wonderful music. He will be missed! May the Lord bless you, Heidi and Eden.

    Judy Wight

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  86. Oh - our family's hearts are broken for you, his family and ours! It's has been our tradition to spend time with Voice Male for 12 years! You did a concert at Clearfield High in which we let you know your #1 fan would be there. You called him out of the audience and then sang to him and signed a CD for him. He has listened to your CDs almost every day for years! We have always loved Phil's wonderful voice! The heavens are sure to sound better now.
    Our thoughts and our prayers are with you all - especially Phil's family!
    Sincerely,
    The Silvester Family

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  87. The Chatterton FamilyFebruary 16, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Voice Male has been a part of our family for many, many years. We are very sad to hear the news. Phil had such a great voice and personality. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kesler family and Voice Male family. He will be deeply missed.

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  88. To all that know and love Phil, our love and condolences go out to you. Life passes much too quick. As much as we enjoyed the music to which he gave his heart and soul, Karen and I enjoyed even more the sense of family that was portrayed as he shared the poems that would be written at his own family gatherings. Blessings of comfort be with you all.

    John & Karen Carter

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  89. So sorry for your loss. I have always loved the saying 'When the one you love becomes a memory, those memories become treasures'. May you find comfort until you can all be together again...which I know you will.

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  90. Dear Heidi and Eden
    I am so very shocked and saddened by this news! Phil is wayyyyyy too young to already be on the other side. He will be greatly missed!
    Your husband and Dad worked for me at Zions Bank when he was going to school. All of us loved Phil. Loved his kind smile and fun laugh. We all teased him about not being married (like others that he worked with) but it must have been because he was waiting to meet Heidi. You must be a very special lady and have a wonderful daughter. I would love to have met you. Our granddaughters (and us) have all of the Voicemale CD's. It is a part of our family outings each year. With all the awful music that teens could be hung up on, it is wonderful that their favorites are Voicemale. Please know our prayers go with you and Eden and that we are better for having known and worked with Phil.

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  91. The world will miss you!

    Phil was an incrediblle teacher and graphic designer. I can remember a few of the intro to graphic design classes he taught at Utah State University. He had the subtle ability to inspire greatness in his students. He was the type of teacher everyone wishes for in college. He seemed to be bursting with information and had no problem sharing his vast knowledge and work experiences. What amazes me most about Phil is the he pursued life, design, and music with passion but he always remained totally sincere. Like many others, I also must thank Phil for giving my interest in design a kick start.

    The past few years we had our annual updates backstage at the Ellen Eccles Theatre during VM's Christmas Concerts. It's fun to see the many sides of Phil. He is a great man and he will be greatly missed.

    I send my deepest condolences out to the Kesler family and to Voice Male. Though cut short, Phil touched many lives during his lifetime. We can't thank him enough for that.

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  92. Phil Kesler was a great friend and an amazing musician. I remember way back in 1995 when Phil auditioned for Voice Male--we were so excited to add his smooth, silky baritone to the group. When I listen to a VM CD, Phil's songs always make me nostalgic for those good times we had. What a blessing to know that Phil is at peace and is adding his beautiful voice to the heavenly hosts. Someday we'll get to sing with him again. Amy and I send our love and prayers to all our Voice Male friends and especially to Phil's family.

    Jason & Amy Gerber

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  93. I am so sad for this loss. He made me have chills everytime he would sing. I have been a Voice Male groupie since the begining. I never get tired of them. I can't even think how sad you must all be. I hope that his wife and daughter will still come and sing for us. I am sending my love and thoughts for the Whole Voice Male family. Love Denece Miller

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  94. I was so sad to hear about Phils passing. He taught me several graphic design classes when he was a grad student at USU and also traveled in the same group with me in Switzerland. He was a great teacher and taught me a lot. My prayers go out to his family.
    -Brynn

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  95. I was so sad to hear of Phil's passing. He was such a great guy that all of the girls swooned over....literally. LOL I'll never forget his "Total Eclipse of the Heart" karaoke performance at Mel and Jon's wedding. He was such a fun guy and will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with you Heidi and Eden and the rest of Phil's family.

    Michelle (Thompson) and Bruce Hilton

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  96. Dianne Klunker HauetFebruary 18, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    I am so sorry for the loss of Phil. He was definitely one of the good guys. May each one of you in Voice Male along with his family feel comfort during this time. He is no longer hurting and is sining in Heaven. May those in Heaven enjoy his continued singing until all can be reunited.

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  97. To Voice Male and families, especially to The Kesler Family,

    My deepest feelings go to you and to Phil's family. I am one of many fans of Voice Male. I just want them to know that Phil will be missed, and loved by all... Phil, along with the other Voice Male members, were my inspiration to keep loving life. I love Voice Male and wish to be part of the family. Phil was a man of honor, courage, and friendliness. Although I don't know him personally, he had that special talent in his singing carrer with Voice Male. He will be Honored. I want his family to know that we, and I, will love him and miss him, as a friend, and Brother. He will be missed, but his spirit lives on, and we will meet again. Again, Best wishes to the Kesler and Voice Male Families. God Bless.

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  98. We have cherished our association with all of you and are deeply saddened at the loss of Phil. His wonderful, melodic baritone voice will be greatly missed. Through the performances at Sun Valley, Salt Lake and other venues, and then having our children join us at Christmas, we have felt of the magnificent spirit that together you brought to whatever group you performed for. Please know of our love and appreciation for all of you, and our heartfelt expressions of sorrow for your loss. Phil was one of a kind. We'll miss his smile and his kind demeanor. Our love to all of you, Lowell & Debbie Hardy & family

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  99. I knew Phil growing up. His dad was our bishop. I always knew he would do something amazing with his life and he truly has.

    My prayers are with his family. We will all miss you.

    Dawna Greer Fairbourn

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  100. I'm deeply saddened to hear such news! My family and I have felt the Spirit as VoiceMale and Phil have touched our hearts. You've made us laugh and feel happy. May you all be comforted at this time and strengthened in all that you do.

    Sariah Kelly

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  101. Phil's voice was as heavenly and sweet as I had ever heard in a live concert. I can't help but grieve with you because he will truly be missed. I wish I would have went to a Christmas concert this last December before he passed. I wish I could have heard him sing "Breakfast at Tiffany" live. We love you Phil!
    -Moss Family

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  102. Very sad news! A huge fan of Voice Male, but even moreso of Phil as he and I talked after one of his concerts to find that we are cousins. Our prayers go out to his family and friends. We hope he continues sharing his passion of music in his next station.
    -Greg Kesler and Family

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  103. Nate Sharp
    I did have the pleasure of knowing Phil. He was one of my best friends growing up. He told me one time that he and I were "buddies".
    He lived around the corner and we pretty much did everything together when we were kids. Birthday parties, scouting and church. I had not seen Phil in many years but I have thought of him a lot in the past few weeks. I had just tagged a photo of him on face book just a few days ago. Phil was always so spiritually grounded. He was a great guy! He was my Buddie growing up and as I read about his accomplishment and how many fans he has......... I know that he will be missed but also that his life will be celebrated for all the good he has done. We are all better people for knowing him........

    Nate Sharp

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  104. I was sorry to hear of Phil's passing. I didn't know him personally, but am a huge Voice Male fan; the Christmas season was not complete without going to the concert every December. The neat thing about the concert was that I was able to get a sense of all the guys testimonies and they helped me remember the true meaning of Christmas through a fun way. It is comforting to know he had such a strong testimony that shown through just at that one fun Christmas concert. His family will be in my heart and prayers.

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  105. Dear Heidi,
    My thoughts are with both you and your daughter at this time. I knew Phil both at USU and through the Voice Mail concerts. He is now singing with the angels. I lost my husband a little less than a year ago. Some of what keeps me going is the knowledge that he is no longer suffering and that he is with other loved ones awaiting my arrival. I hope that knowledge can help you and Edan both in the years to come.
    Love, Janette Monson

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  106. Our daughter, Adrienne, was a good friend of Phil's from USU days. She got our whole family hooked on Voice Male. We've enjoyed their camaraderie and wonderful harmony for years. Sadly, we lost Adrienne about five years ago. When I was able to meet Phil following a concert a few years ago, he took time to share some really great memories of Adrienne with me and gave this mother's heart a lift. I will always remember him for his kindness and thoughtfulness, how he took a few minutes to lift my spirits. He is such a talented man, but also a truly warm, kind human being. He will be sorely missed.

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  107. Phil was a really good guy. I liked him a lot and will miss him. My love to his wife and daughter, and the rest of his family. Bob Ahlander, Salt Lake City

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  108. I remember meeting Phil for the first time when he roomed with one of my best friends. And I remember when he tried out for VM and he came home excited that he made it. We were all proud of him. He was such a friendly guy, incredibly warm and always happy. He will be missed. My family extends our deepest condolences to his family and will keep you in our prayers.
    -Matt and Kristy Platis

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  109. I was lucky enough to be an undergraduate at Utah State when Voice Male first began. I went to all of their concerts and was a devoted fan. I have also been lucky enough to be a professor at Jacksonville State with Phil and I know that his students will really miss him. He was a gifted teacher and singer and we will miss him here at JSU.

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  110. I was at the christmas concert and loved the music that Phil and his group sang. I am deeply saddened that a great talent has left this world, but am sure he is busy making music on the other side. My best wishes go to his wife and daughter.

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  111. dear voice male,
    i am sorry for the loss of you're dear friend brother,and voice male member. he is singing on the other side. i never knew him personally. but when i went to the concerts there he was singing with you and having fun. i think of a hymn that i heard when one of my dear friends pased away. it is hymn #293 in the hymn book. sing that song. thank you for the time.
    Ben Heiner
    p.S. i sing baretone if you kneed an extra helper, just let me know.

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  112. This is so sad! I knew Phil at USU, he was in my student ward. He was our ward choir director. What a great guy. I am just heartbroken for his family.

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  113. Being present for many Voice Male performances and even a few Voice Male practices where we were able to observe the coming together of such wonderful talents and personalities, we have had the privilege of being witnesses of some of the special gifts that Phil shared with everyone. We could see his gentleness and kindness, his playful sense of humor, his ability to write and share poetry in music-the love and loyalty he has for his family and his friends which is evident in that music, the Joy in everyday life. And what a wonderful tribute to his family he is. What a great example he is of the joys to be found in family, and what a Beautiful, mellow voice he has shared his feelings and love with. We are all enriched because of being able to share a few hours from time to time with him.
    Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you who are closest to him. May our Heavenly Father's blessings be upon you. May "The Lord Bless thee, and Keep thee" " The Lord make His face shine upon thee... and give thee peace." Numbers 6: 24-26


    Norman and Margie Lyman
    [Parents of former Voice Male member]

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  114. Voice Male has been a part of our life for ten years. We love the concerts and Phil will be missed. He was a great performer. Thank you for all you have done for our family.

    Birch Family

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  115. I know that I am late in adding my thoughts to the list of many that share a heavy heart at this time... but I needed to say thank you!! phil was a joy to watch in concert, his family Christmas poetry tradition has made it's way into our home and his talent will be missed!! Although, he is no longer with us the music he shared with his friends of voice male will be in our hearts forever!!! I remember thinking at the Christmas Concert "He really loves his wife". you could see it in his eyes as he looked at here while they sang together. It touched me deeply!! My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this time!!!

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  116. We were so sad to learn of Phil's passing. He was a good man!
    Our prayers are especially with his Sweetheart and his daughter, his family, and his Voice Male brothers.
    We shall miss you, Phil!!! Thank you for your friendship!

    With Love,
    The Gardner's

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  117. I knew Phil up at Utah State. He was one of the very nicest, smartest, most talented (musically and artistically), and sharp-looking guys I ever met - just incredibly impressive. I always meant to get ahold of him after hearing of (and to) his great achievements with Voice Male...well, never put off, right? I keep learning that the hard way. But I'd like to think that, somewhere, he knows how proud I am of his personal and professional success. Gone far too soon, my friend.

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  118. I first met Phil back when we both worked at the University Inn. My husband and I are big fans of Voice Male and have several of the CD's. Our kids love to listen to them! We were sad to hear of Phil's passing and our hearts go out to all the Voice Male members and Heidi and Eden. We will miss him.

    Amy Dearinger Wyatt

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  119. Phil was a unique individual. I always admired his calm demeanor and his quiet way of speaking. And then his mellow voice reminded me of James Tayor. As one who enjoyed bringing Voice Male to the Bear Lake valley to perform, each of these young men are special in the eyes of God and their families, only now one of the group is singing heavenly praises now close to his Heavenly Father.

    Our deepest sympathies are rendered to Phil's family and friends. He will be long remembered and his impact felt through our own lifetimes.

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  120. Troy & Bessie Wakefield FamilyMarch 24, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    Our family has LOVED Voice Male since the beginning, when they were the orginal 9. Our kids grew up with Voice Male, and we've regularly attended their concerts.

    We are so very sadden at the passing of Phil. He was a good, good man. We met him several years ago when we floated the Logan canal with our good family friends and Phil was there, and also a fun New Years Party. He taught us the proper way to slice a banana. (As a teenager, he'd worked in an ice cream shop and made banana splits.)

    We loved his melodic voice and his gentle spirit. Our hearts go out to his wife, Heidi and little Eden, and to the Voice Male group. He was a blessing in our lives and we will miss him.

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  121. We discovered voicemale several years ago and own many cd's. The talent and good family fun has been much enjoyed. He was such a talented singer and will be greatly missed. Our love and prayers are with you and your family.
    The Johnsons and Waltons in Harrisville, Utah

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  122. The Christmas Voice Male concert has been a tradition in our family for several years. This year as we attended we were all very touched by Phil and his wife's duet and also as the last song was sung and tears were shed. Phil had an amazing voice and although I did not know him personally, I know he was a great man. Our love and prayers are with his family and the members of Voice Male at this time.

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  123. David Pack on behalf of OctappellaApril 5, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Our sincere condolences to Phil's family and Voice Male. Our a cappella group started in 1999, being heavily influenced by Phil and Voice Male. Personally, I own all your albums, and my children can't get enough of listening to Phil, especially during Christmastime. Which means Phil's legacy and influence will continue and grow perpetually.

    We are grateful for Phil's example on and off the stage, for his contributions in making the world a better place. We trust the gospel message of eternal family opportunities will be a source of comfort to his family. Phil's family is in our thoughts and prayers.

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  124. We still miss you Phil, and Heidi and Eden

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  125. I am so sorry to here. I was in the ward growing up but with the passing of my parents I have lost touch. My thoughts go out to you and your family and Phil's parents as well

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  126. Voice Male inspires me, I'm sorry to hear of Phil's passing. Sending prayers your way.

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  127. I was looking for updates on Voice Male happenings and just found out about Phil. We were co-workers at Baskin Robbins when we were in high school. I am sad to hear of his passing. I always had a lot of respect for this soft spoken man and still can picture him with a smile and cone in his hand. My prayers go out to his family.

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  128. I have always love the music of Voice Male and it just won't be the same without Phil. He will be greatly missed!

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  129. Nick Herrmann of Smithfield, UtahJuly 23, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Missing Phil....I was just listening to Voice Male's CD's today and really wish the best to the Kesler Family and the Voice Male Brothers-in-Arms. I am their biggest fan and sing along to their music every chance I get. I want to help Voice Male anytime they need it. Through Prayer, Song, and "The Shadow of Your Smile", Phil, we all love you. God Bless.

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  130. I am a HUGE Voice Male fan and truth be told, Phil's smooth and gorgeous voice is my favorite. Jingles 1 and 2 are my favorite Christmas music. Hims 1 and 2 are my favorite Sunday music. I only met Phil once... when he and the others signed my Up, Up and Away cd years ago. So why am I crying today? Because I just learned of his passing and I know he was a great and talented man. My heart goes out to his family and dear friends even though I'm 6 months late on my condolences. -Jannie Leavitt, Kennewick, WA

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  131. As it is time to reserve tickets for our favorite Voice Male Christmas concert, we are saddened to learn of Phil's passing. Our prayers, and thoughts go out to his family, and Voice Male family. My you be strong, and know that he loves you, and is with you. Please continue sharing all your talents, both family, and Voice Male. We love you.

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  132. As I am getting ready to purchase my Voice Male Christmas concert tickets, I was shocked to learn of Phil's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He was a great part of Voice Male's success. Now Phil has the best seat in the house and can watch over his own family and his Voice Male family. To his wife and daughter, please know that a loving Heavenly Father is holding you in the palm of His hand. -

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  133. I came to the site to get information about the Christmas concert and learned of Phil's passing. We as a family are deeply saddened by this loss. Our apologies for being so late in expressing our love and concern. We are newer to the Voice Male family, but have attended the Christmas concert at Abravanel Hall the past two Christmases. We travel from across the state to get all 6 siblings and our spouses together and attend with our parents.It is a tradition we love and anticipate throughout the year. This year we were having our own personal sadness, as we will be missing our folks. They are serving a mission in Africa. We know Phil,too, is serving a new mission and we will miss him. We love the members of Voice Male, and vividly recall Phil singing to his wife this past year. What a priceless memory to treasure. Thank you for being a part of our lives and Christmas traditions. We are incredibly sorry for your loss and will keep Phil's family and friends in our prayers.Thank you Phil for filling our home with music and inviting the Spirit of our Savior through your actions, example, testimony, and music.

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  134. I too was checking out your website to see when you are coming to Logan, when I saw the page set up to remember Phil. I am so deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Thank you to all of you, and especially to Heidi for being willing to share so much of Phil with us. It was an honor to read his testimony, and feel once again of his strength. I can only imagine how hard it is for each of you to commit so much time to performing, especially around the holidays. I am saddened to say I was unaware of Phil's battle with cancer as I watched him year after year, but will forever be grateful to him for spending some of his precious time with us. The Voice Male family has helped fill my life with so much joy through music, and for that I can never thank you enough.

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  135. I am shocked to know this had happened! I went to Utah State and I always had a crush from afar on Phil. He will definitely be missed. I thank his family for sharing him with us!

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  136. I stumbled upon this memorial blog to Phil as I was looking for a voice male CD. I had no idea about his passing.... The blog, memorial, Phil's testimony, and his wife's courage and strength made me sob. Phil was in a ward of mine at Utah State (and of course I like many others loved Voice Male) and we had a common good friend when I lived in Chicago. He was a person of amazing character and talent. I am so happy to hear of little Eden may you me blessed with wonderful memories always...

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  137. I, too, am shocked to have just learned of Phil's passing while looking at the Voice Male website in search of some Christmas music. And like so many others who have already commented, my life is so much richer for the music he and the other voice male members have created. May God always bless Phil's family and the friends he left behind.

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  138. I too had no idea of his passing and am quite sad to have learned it as I was searching for this year's Christmas shows. Phil, we were roommates in Logan when I was also studying graphic design. You were a very good friend and will always remember your humbleness. My condolences to the family and to Heidi, may God be with you.

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  139. Cindy Schofield EllsworthDecember 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    I knew Phil from college where we had a bunch of art classes together. We would do study-buddy stuff. He was a good friend. Never romantically, just a good, good person who helped me all the time and laughed with me. He was wonderful. I am so sorry for your loss. I am also sorry that I lost contact with him and didn't keep in touch. I feel the loss poignantly. May you all be in God's care.

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  140. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment and share memories of Phil. What an outpouring of love, faith, and compassion. Eden and I are doing well. We miss Phil terribly and are so grateful for the tangible evidences of him and his talents that he left behind. We are so thankful to continue to be part of the Voice Male family.

    Heidi Kesler

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  141. Hi Heidi. This is Elder Seto who served with "Elder Kesler" (aka Kesler - we always affectionately addressed each other by only our last names.) in his first district/area in Taiwan (Taoyuan). We shared the same apt for 3 months and were somewhat mission companions incognito, because our two senior comps were both very much on their way out at that time. As a result, Elder Kesler and I had spent many splits together, as two clueless "greenies" in the vast Taiwan metropolis. I was going through my church music the other day and ran across a duet that Phil and I sang at a baptism of a young sister that my wife taught (she was also a full-time missionary in our first working area).

    I wanted to let you know that both my wife and I still deeply mourn the loss of Elder Kesler and that we think very highly of him. Our second daughter also passed away seven years ago and we still sorely miss her too.

    Please let us know if you need someone as a sounding board.

    Take care.
    Elder Larry Seto

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  142. Holiday season 2012 is creeping up on us, and I'm breaking out the Voice Male CD Christmas collections. I can't listen without thinking about the amazing talent that Phil left us. What a voice! Whoever said time heals pain obviously never lost a loved one. Heidi and family, not a year will go by without him being in our thoughts, and you all in our prayers. I'm sure Phil is up there humming his favorite tunes while he keeps an eye on his little family.

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  143. I was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a place called Hudson Oaks, Texas when I first learned that Phil had passed away. It made me a little sad to think that I would never get the chance to hear him sing in a live concert setting. Voice Male is the group that introduced me to this wonderful genre of music, and I believe it was Phil who sang the lead in Voice Male's rendition of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," which is still to this day my favorite song by the group. I'm just a simple fan who wanted to let Voice Male know how much they have done to increase my love of music, and Phil's gorgeous voice arguably played the biggest role in that! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Christopher. It is so nice to know that Phil is still remembered and that his voice is still touching lives. We miss him but are so grateful to have his voice, testimony, and influence still in our lives. We are grateful for eternal families.

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  144. Phil The Brave
    Phil the man of God
    Phil the friend
    Phil the artist
    The singer
    The teacher
    The.....
    I will always appreciate the great influence Phil had on me and my family when we were going through a particularly difficult time. The music of Voice Male is a reflection of the sincere, caring and fun guy that we will always love.
    Six years have passed and I'm just finding out about his passing today. Connecticut is a long ways from Utah in more than distance. Could easily be 20 years since we last spoke but the memories and the blessings of his friendship are eternal.
    May our Heavenly Father comfort and guide his family eternally as well
    Zaijian xiongdi
    The Lambsons
    Simsbury, CT

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