Date of death: 05/18/2020

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1962

Newburgh – Dr. David Lee Kissel, PhD, 84, of Newburgh, passed away Monday, May 18, 2020. He was born May 12, 1936, in Evansville, the eldest son of Elmer B. and Mary Pauline (Ralph) Kissel. He was married to Phyllis M. Elliott for 25 years until her death in 2008.

Dr. Kissel earned a PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University, as well as degrees in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Pastoral Theology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and a B.S. from St. Meinrad College. He did his graduate work at Georgetown University and Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Kissel taught Biology and Anthropology for several years early in his career and then over a period of the next 20 years, held Assistant Pastor and Pastor positions in the Diocese of Evansville as well as serving as Campus Minister and Director for the Newman Center at the University of Evansville. After taking leave of the ministry in 1982, for the next 18 years, he was a Program Director of the Adolescent Mental Health Services at Welborn Baptist Hospital until his retirement.

He was a member of the American Association for Counseling and Development, the American Anthropological Association, the Society for Psychological Anthropology, the Central States Anthropological Society, the International Society of Theta Phi, St. Anthony Catholic Church and the St. Anthony’s Men’s Club.

During their 25-year marriage, Dave and Phyllis traveled extensively learning from and appreciating many different cultures and societies. In his accomplished and well-lived life, he published numerous papers, spoke German fluently, and loved learning, reading, and a good cup of VERY strong coffee. He experienced life at every stage as a great and wonderous adventure. However, of all of Dr. Kissel’s learning experiences, he often said he learned his grandparenting role from his grandchildren and earned his most prestigious and cherished title from them-that of “Grandave”.

Dave, a loving son, brother, husband, stepfather and grandfather is survived by his stepdaughters, Amy Elliott Ubelhor and her husband, Ted, of Evansville, Kate Elliott of Nevada City, California, and Nora Elliott of Medina, Ohio and “Grandave’s” five grandchildren who were the true lights of his life: Elliott Benjamin and Emma Claire Ubelhor, Jared Patrick and Nicklaus David Epplen and Noah Wendell Tecklin. He is also survived by sisters, Jackie Kissel, OSB, Bonnie (Jim) Wannemuehler, Judith Kissel, and Debbie (Rick) Neufelder; and brothers, Reverend Tony Kissel and Tim Kissel; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis M. Elliott, and his parents, Elmer and Pauline Kissel.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial for immediate family Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 704 N. First Ave. with Reverend Tony Kissel officiating. Friends will be able to live stream the services on Facebook live at Ziemer Funeral Home and Cremation Services ten minutes before service time.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, 802 E 10th St, Ferdinand, IN 47532.

Condolences may be made online at