Michael Ross Kersting, the founder and president of Wilmington-based Kersting Architecture, died last week while vacationing in the mountains of Colorado with his family.
In a social media post, the firm confirmed its founder’s untimely death, citing Kersting died suddenly while “living life to the fullest in the vastness of the wilderness with his two boys, William and Jack, and wife, Pam.”
Born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Kersting (pictured left
) was inspired by the forts he built in the desert while growing up, according to the post. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of New Mexico and later worked for firms in Albuquerque and Washington, D.C.
Kersting met his wife, Pam, while earning his master's degree in architecture from N.C. State University. He later spent three years designing custom homes in Santa Fe, New Mexico, before returning to North Carolina to form Michael Ross Kersting Architecture in 1995, according to the post.
“Over the past 27 years, Michael has left an unforgettable mark on the town of Wilmington, as well as across the state of North Carolina with his thoughtful designs, outstanding leadership, and most importantly respected character,” the post states.
Kersting Architecture has earned several awards, including five North Carolina Modernist Houses’ Matsumoto People’s Choice Awards, numerous American Institute of Architects (AIA) Wilmington recognitions and the North Carolina AIA Honor Award, among others.
In 2019, he co-founded Kersting Peridot Interiors, an upscale design firm that specializes in residential and commercial interior services. Among other professional affiliations, Kersting has maintained an advisory board member role at the N.C. State University School of Architecture since 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“His shoes will be tough to fill, but his legacy will be carried on through the continuation of the work that he had started, and the inspiration of the design work that lives within all of us who had the joy and opportunity to work with him,” the post states. “One of the biggest gifts that he gave all of us at Kersting Architecture was his immense belief in each and every one of us, and it is with this that we will carry the torch in his honor and continue to build on his story for many years to come.”
A representative for the firm said at this time, they had no comment. The social media post states arrangements are being made and information about how to honor and remember Kersting will be available soon.