Quilt memorializes man?s love for motorcycles

Marie Kessler and Bob Kasitz pose by the T-shirt quilt Kessler created for Kasitz to memorialize his brother David?s love for motorcycle adventures. Patty Decker / Free Press
Marie Kessler and Bob Kasitz pose by the T-shirt quilt Kessler created for Kasitz to memorialize his brother David?s love for motorcycle adventures. Patty Decker / Free Press

Almost 18 months after David Kasitz died, his brother, Bob Kasitz of Newton, and friend Marie Kessler of Hillsboro, immortalized his memory in their own ways.

At age 60, David succumbed to pneumonia on Jan. 15, 2014, without completing his bucket list, and Bob said he wanted to carry on with what his brother started.

One way that Kessler, owner of Kessler?s Kreations, could help was by constructing a T-shirt quilt for Bob symbolic of David?s Moto Guzzi motorcycle adventures.

In addition to Kessler?s work on completing the quilt, Bob said his cousin, Nancy Hubbard of Manhattan, helped start the quilt.

?That summer David planned to retire and travel to (car and motorcycle) shows,? Bob said.

One of the trips he was looking forward to taking was to a museum at Mandello Del Lario in Italy?the place where Moto Guzzi motorcycles were manufactured.

Closer to his home east of Hutchinson, David planned to attend other shows in Kansas and around the country.

As part of Bob?s tribute to his brother, he said he planned to make as many shows as possible.

Recently he said he attended the Newton car show and had the opportunity to display the quilt, David?s 1954 Moto Guzzi Astore with Wiley Coyote on the bike, who now had the speed to catch the Roadrunner.

David Kasitz, ready to roll during one of his many motorcycle adventures. He died of pneumonia Jan. 15, 2014. Courtesy photo
David Kasitz, ready to roll during one of his many motorcycle adventures. He died of pneumonia Jan. 15, 2014. Courtesy photo

Renaissance man

?David was known to many as a ?Renaissance Man,?? he said.

Along with his love for motorcycles, David also played piano, violin and guitar and supported services for disadvantaged children.

His wide range of interests included Emporia State University?s Department of Art, which now receives a six-figure gift from his estate, Bob said.

The bulk of his estate will endow the David W. Kasitz Donor-Advised Fund to support ESU?s engraving arts, printmaking and painting programs and provide scholarships for art students, Bob said.

The quilt will be displayed at ESU until September, and Bob said he hopes to take it with him to Italy so it can be showcased at the Moto Guzzi Museum.

According to Bob, his brother never married, but he had a lot of projects.

?He loved his cars,? Bob said, ?and because of his passion for motorcycles, he was state president of the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club for many years.?

Early years

In 1975, David earned a teaching degree in industrial arts, Bob said, and worked as a machinist before joining AGCO in Hesston.

One of the reasons he liked the Moto Guzzi bike so much, Bob said, was because he could hardly ride a motorcycle.

?David was only 5 feet 5 inches tall and the Moto Guzzi was a good fit,? he said. ?These bikes ride a little different than a Harley Davidson.?

Bob said he and David grew up in Council Grove, but his brother didn?t really care too much for motorcycles when he was younger.

Their parents, Harry and Grace Kasitz, adopted David when he was six days old, Bob said.

?(David) had a big heart,? he said, ?and a man with such a big heart should have lived longer.?