The Rev. Raymond Francis Kersting

Obituary
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We are at a time in our American history where we need more kindness, gentleness, wisdom and compassion for all people.
Therefore, it is with a sad heart that we announce to the world the death of the Rev. Raymond Francis Kersting, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Nov. 29, 2018. At 85 years old, the Rev. Kersting was a third-generation Santa Fean, graduating from Santa Fe High in 1951.
In 1955, after graduating from Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, Raymond spent time as an editor of the Frankfort Morning Times. Raymond decided to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather to become a minister. He and his wife, Betty, graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1960. He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister June 30, 1960, at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe.
During his tenure as pastor he served three congregations: First Presbyterian Churches in Atkinson, Nebraska, and Taos, New Mexico, serving for nine years, and Brighton, where he served for 20 years.
Ray was moderator of the original Santa Fe Presbytery and of the current Santa Fe Presbytery. He was also stated clerk of the Presbytery from 1997-2005.
He served as moderator of Finance & Property and editor of the award-winning "Noticias," the Presbytery newsletter, for many years.
Rev. Kersting was known for his gentleness and compassion. He believed strongly in the equality of all people and the need for social justice. It is in this vein that Rev. Kersting served his communities in ways far beyond the pulpit. He understood the innate desire for people to find meaning in their lives.
Many of his community endeavors included programs to assist in this quest, such as establishing a counseling center that served all members of the community, regardless of their ability to pay, and facilitating conversation between community groups during tumultuous times to foster peace and diversity in Taos and in Brighton.
Rev. Kersting saw the role of the church as one of spiritual growth and the nurturing of all ages, races, and socio-economic status. As one friend/neighbor wrote, "Ray wove his way into our communities through selfless volunteer work, working quietly, efficiently, to improve lives for all."
Not only was he an amazing church and community leader, Raymond was very creative. These creative endeavors started young with model trains and playing the clarinet in the band. His love of music continued throughout his career, establishing a strong musical ministry while in Brighton and a lifetime love of the Santa Fe Opera, which he attended for 59 years.
He created stained-glass artworks and won awards for his beautiful yards while in Colorado. Through his woodworking he created furniture for our home and wooden pens he handcrafted. In his younger years he enjoyed skiing and golfing and later fed his love of trains by expanding his work in model railroading, riding the Cumbres & Toltec and traveling by train whenever he could.
His parents, Raymond A. and Mary Moore Kersting, preceded Raymond in death. His wife, Betty, son, Andrew Kersting and daughter Kandise Gilbertson and family survive him, as do sisters Tess Reis and Ada Randall, and brothers William and Christopher Kersting and their families.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Girard's House in Santa Fe (www.girardshouse.org) or the Pennock Center for Counseling in Brighton (www.pennockcounseling.org).
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe.



Religious Service Information
First Presbyterian Church
208 Grant Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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Published in Brighton Standard Blade on Dec. 5, 2018
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