Grace L. Kester

Grace Lavonne Kester, 93, of North Manchester, IN, and having family members in Huntington, IN, died Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, at 7:10 p.m. at Peabody Retirement Community, North Manchester.

Mrs. Kester graduated from Urbana High School in 1942. She earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics and art and a teaching license from Manchester College in 1945 and a master’s degree from Ball State University in 1967. She retired in 1986 from Manchester Community Schools, where she had taught for 30 years and founded the Grace Kester Outstanding Female Athletic Award in 1977.

She was a member of the Manchester Historical Society, Manchester Fine Arts Club, Wabash County Art Guild, North Manchester Shepherd’s Center and the Wabash County, Indiana and National Retired Teachers Association. She was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church.

She was born Sept. 11, 1924, near Urbana to Aaron and Ethel Brunton Schmalzried. She married Max E. Kester on June 5, 1945, in North Manchester, and he preceded her in death on July 31, 2000.

Survivors include a son, Rev. Edward E. (Rev. Susan Keirn) Kester, of Fort Wayne; three daughters, Kathy (Harold) Kretzer, of Richmond, VA; Cynthia (Robert) Maylone, of Muncie; and Annette (Dennis) Ayres, of North Manchester; nine grandchildren, Caroline (Ian) Kester-Haney, of Fort Wayne; Sara (Joshua) MacDermod, of Chesapeake, VA; Joanna (Peter) Chun, of Washington DC; Chris (Sunshine) Simcoe and Aaron Simcoe, both of Muncie; Lisa Rioux, of Toledo, OH; Abbie (Jason) Richards, of Huntington; Andy (Ruth) Ayres, of North Manchester; and Ryan Ayres, of Idaho; and 23 great-grandchildren.

Calling is Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Grandstaff-Hentgen Bender Chapel, 207 W. Main St., North Manchester. A service will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at 11 a.m., with calling one hour prior to the service, at Manchester United Methodist Church, 306 E. 2nd St., North Manchester. Rev. Larry Ray will officiate. Burial will be at Oaklawn Cemetery, North Manchester.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Community Foundation of Wabash County for the Max E. and Grace L. Kester Endowment Fund.

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