Born in 1926 and raised in Texas, Liz (Russell) Kesler began her love affair with rodeo when she was pressed into service as a timer at the local Clay County Pioneer event. She soon had a career as a timer and secretary at rodeos around central Texas. She met legendary stock contractor/producer Reg Kesler at the NFR in Oklahoma City, and the couple married in 1971.
From their home in Montana, the Keslers traveled throughout the West, she serving variously as timer, secretary and public relations spokesperson. Liz ultimately was picked to time and record major contests, including 15 Montana Circuit Finals and three Dodge National Circuit Finals rodeos. Going down the road, she became a leading ambassador for the sport.
Widowed in 2001, Liz Kesler nonetheless broadened her efforts in support of rodeo. She helped establish the National Finals Fashion Show, which over the years has raised thousands of dollars for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. She also coordinates the annual Cowboy Reunion at the NFR, perpetuating family within the rodeo community. For untiring service to the sport, Liz Kesler received the 2009 Tad Lucas Memorial Award from the Rodeo Historical Society.