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Lester B. Kesterson


unknown - May 28, 2011

Lester B. Kesterson, age 94 years, of Jefferson City, Mo., died Saturday, May 28, 2011, at Jefferson Manor Care Center. He was born September 6, 1916 in Oxly, Mo., the son of Joe and Pearl Armour Kesterson. He was married on December 26, 1937, to Anna F. Pender, in Naylor, Mo. Anna preceded him in death on January 31, 2009, after 71 years of marriage. A resident of Jefferson City since 1962, Lester was a 1935 graduate of Naylor High School. He received a B.S. degree in Education in 1941 after attending Southwest Baptist College and Southwest Missouri State University. He served in the Army as a Classifications Specialist in Marburg, Germany in 1945-46. He completed a Masters degree in Secondary Education at the University of Missouri in 1948. He did further graduate study at New York University. Lester was an educator for 39 years. He was a principal and basketball coach in Naylor and Eminence, Mo. and a math and science teacher at Poplar Bluff High School. He was one of the first educators in Missouri in the field of High School Cooperative Occupational Education (C.O.E.), teaching in Poplar Bluff, Nevada, Springfield and St. Louis (Normandy). During summers he taught teacher education courses in this field at SMS and MU. In 1962 he became the Director of Cooperative, Industrial and Distributive Education for the Missouri Department of Education until retiring in 1978. After retirement he enjoyed serving as Vice-President of the Missouri Florists Association and later as a tax preparer for H&R Block. He was a member of First United Methodist Church, Missouri State Teachers Association, Cole County Retired Teachers, AARP and American Legion. While working he held many leadership positions in state and national organizations in his career field including the American Vocational Association and Distributive Education Clubs of America. Lester was so grateful to God for his loving family and all of the memorable family celebrations through the years. He loved his church and the friends and fellowship shared in worship and service to God. He enjoyed the blessings of his farm, raising cattle, growing flowers and vegetables, fixing and building things, fishing, horseback riding, traveling and playing with his grandkids and Mom's cooking. His family and those who knew him have been blessed and inspired by his sacrificial love, faithfulness, goodness, and gentleness. Other survivors include: three daughters, Jeanie Adams (Steve) of Jefferson City, Judie Cline (Larry) of Dallas, Texas, and Beverly Johnson (Buck) of Dawson, Ga.; six grandchildren, Laura Glover, Allison Holliday, Teresa Whitley, Marla Rubsam, Kyle Adams, and Joel Adams; eight great-grandchildren, Garrett Glover, Dylan, Chloe and Lily Holliday, Lathon and Kathryn Whitley, and Braden and Logan Rubsam; and one brother and sister-in-law, Marvin and Sondra Kesterson of Cape Girardeau, Mo. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents and an infant sister. A memorial service will be conducted at 1:00 p.m., Friday, June 10, 2011, at the First United Methodist Church with the Reverend Mark Dumas and the Reverend Chris Dumas officiating. Visitation will be in the sanctuary at 12:00 noon until 1:00 p.m. and also following the service. Private entombment with military honors will be at the Mausoleum of Riverview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City, Mo. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.

Services Location

Freeman Mortuary
  • 915 Madison Street Jefferson City, Mo 65101
  • 573-636-5533
  • Fax 573-636-7513
  • Visit website

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