Robert L. Kester, 84, of Brazil died at 2:50 a.m. Friday, July 11, 2003, at Clay County Health Center.
He was born on Feb. 25, 1919 in Brazil, the son of Charles Sr. and Dora Bell Moore Kester.
He graduated in 1937 from Staunton High School. After graduation, he worked for a local mining company hauling coal. In 1939 he was employed by McAlman Construction Co., building the section of US 40 from The Blue Bonnet Restaurant to the Staunton Road.
In 1939, he entered Indiana State teachers College and attended until he was drafted in the Army on Dec. 29, 1941. On April 22, 1942, he was shipped overseas and was assigned as a special troop member with the 127th regimental Combat Team 32nd Infantry Division, spending 3 1/2 years in the South Pacific. Being discharged Oct. 13, 1945, he immediately erolled in college again, graduating in 1948 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Arts and Physical Education.
He married Ernestine Snell of Harmony July 29, 1950. In 1956, he went to work at Twiggs Air-Craft Industry. he started teaching school in Plymouth, Ind. and then went to Whitewater in Franklin County. In 1963, he returned to Staunton High School as a shop teacher and guidance counselor. He earned a Masters Degree in Administration and Guidance after 18 years at the high school, retiring in 1981. During his teaching career he was a basketball and baseball coach from 1945-1956 at Van Buren High Sdchool, an industrial arts and drivers education teacher for 18 years at Staunton.
A drummer, he was the first recipient of the John Phillip Sousa Award in Clay County. He enjoyed hunting, and since his retirement, raised and trained bird dogs.
He was a member of Peniel United Methodist Church, Clay County Retired teachers Association, Indiana Retired Teachers Association, ISU Grand Society of Sycamores, American Legion Post #2, VFW Post 1127, Clay County 4-H Council and the 4-H Horse and pony Club. He was the first leader of the 4-H Dog Obedience Club and the Clay County Quail Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Ernest, Wayne, Ray and Charles Jr. Kester; and three sisters, Reva Cheek, Helen patrick and Ruth Maurey.
He is survived by his wife, Ernestine Snell Kester; two daughters, Sharman Kester Woll, of Brazil, and Shari kester Voeltz and husband Donnie, of Jefferson, Wis.; two granddaughters, Jamie Woll Judson and husband Steve, of Brazil, and Julie Woll, of Brazil; and several neices and nephews, Janie Steele and husband Stephen, of Avon, Greg Steele and wife Rachael, of Indianapolis, and Dr. Daniel Cheek and family, of Terre Haute.
Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Monday at Lawson-Slack Funeral Home. Services will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home with Rev. John Fischer officiating. Burial will be at Roselawn Memorial Cemetery in Terre Haute. Military Graveside Services by American Legion Post #2 and VFW Post # 1127.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.lawsonslack.com.