Obituary of Gerald Eugene Kester
Gerald Eugene Kester – Gary to all who knew him went home to be with his Lord and Savior. Gary currently resided in Caldwell, ID, and he passed away surrounded by family and his faithful service dog Ryder on Tuesday, October 24, 2023. Gary was a Husband, Father, Friend, Veteran and Patriot. Gary was survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Mary June (Sorensen); his three children, Robert Kester (Michele), Holly Brady (Mike), and Cari Ray (Dave); his grandchildren, Gary Kester, Tommy Kester, and Lynette Renfro (Charles); and his great-grandchildren, Korey Kester, Charles (Chip) Renfro III and many nieces and nephews from Oregon. Gary was preceded in death by his parents Eugene Kester and Virginia Kester Farmer and his sister Sandra Hayes.
Gary was born in Hammond, Indiana on August 12, 1948 and moved to California with his family in 1953. He spent his childhood in Paramount, CA and Long Beach, CA and graduated from Brethern High School in Paramount, CA in 1966. At Brethern, Gary was an athlete and a scholar. He played Football, Basketball, Baseball and ran Track. He also met a young girl named Mary Sorensen that was the sister of some of his high school buddies and was lucky enough to be her first date.
Gary was due to attend Abilene Christian College on a baseball scholarship when the Vietnam War broke out and he felt the call to duty. Although he was only 17, he enlisted (with the approval of his parents) in the United States Air Force and was deployed to Southeast Asia as a Security Policeman and Para-rescue person after basic training. While in Southeast Asia, he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medals and the Meritorious Medal for Service.
Gary returned to the States and ran into Mary Sorensen at a Spokane, WA airport where she was visiting her grandparents. They spent the evening talking while snowed in at the airport and sparks reignited. Thus, the love-story began. They were married several months later on March 8, 1969 and started their family soon thereafter.
Gary re-enlisted in the Airforce and spent his career in service to his country. While in the service, he started as an MP (Military Police) officer but went to be an Air Traffic Controller for almost 20 years and then finished his career as a First Sergeant at the rank of Master Sergeant after 22 years. Gary was stationed in many places around the world and served several temporary duty assignments as well; most notably at Vandenberg AFB, CA; Bitburg AFB, Germany; Austin, TX where he was deployed as a Combat Controller; Biloxi, MS; and Mountain Home, ID where he retired.
After retiring from the USAF, Gary went back to his first love – Cars. He got his first car at the age of 14 and he began tearing them apart and learning how to fix them. He was a self-taught, gifted mechanic who could fix any type of car, but he was always a self-professed Chevy guy! Throughout the years, he built many cars from the ground up, but was most proud of a 1962 Corvette that he built and owned for over 25 years. Also, during this time, Gary opened up his own Auto Repair business known as Gary’s Place and it has operated for 30 years. He brought his son and grandson into the business and they have taken over the reins from Gary and will continue his legacy.
Gary has been an active member of Treasure Valley Corvettes (of Boise) for over 30 years and was always ready for a car show with his buddies. He was also an avid Boise State University Broncos fan and a lifelong Los Angeles Rams fan.
Gary fought bravely in service to his country; and he fought bravely in life and death. He will be remembered always as a Warrior! No Retreat! No Surrender!
Memorial Services will be as follows:
Treasure Valley Baptist Church
1300 S. Teare Ave.
Meridian, ID 83642
November 3, 2023; 10:00 am
As we join to celebrate Gary’s life, the family has requested that in order to honor Gary, please feel free to wear your Boise State University gear or your corvette attire (not mandatory).
In lieu of flowers, donations have been requested to be made to the following:
Idaho German Shepard Rescue
Small Cell Lung Cancer Research
American Cancer SocietyTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald Kester, please visit Tribute Store