Alfred E. Kerst, age 78, moved to his heavenly home on May 5, 2013, after an extended illness.
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He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Mary Kerst; and his brother, Karl F. Kerst, all of Crete, Neb.
He was a long time resident of Jonesboro, Ark., and Greers Ferry, Ark.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jean; and four children, Judi (Kerst) and Jerry Foster of Black Oak, Paul and Cecilia Kerst of Conway, Becky Kerst of Cleburne, Texas, and John Kerst of Jonesboro. He has four grandchildren, Katie and Lou Kerst of Conway, Marine Cpl. Brandon Foster of Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Rachel (Foster) Adams of Pocahontas, Ark. Other surviving family members include, Mary Lou (Kerst) Moorberg (sister) of Grand Island, Neb., and Jody (Kerst) Jasnoch (sister) of Ogalalla, Neb.
Originally from Crete, Neb., Mr. Kerst served 13 years in the U. S. Marine Corps, including the Vietnam conflict. Upon completion of military service, Mr. Kerst was an electrical engineer, a police officer, a volunteer fireman, a purchasing manager, a business owner in Jonesboro and completed a Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas State University all-the-while serving God as a Southern Baptist minister pastoring at University Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Lunsford Baptist Church and as associate pastor of Nettleton Baptist Church. After retiring as a pastor, Mr. Kerst served as teacher of the Adult Sunday School at Westside First Baptist Church in Greers Ferry.
Throughout his life, Mr. Kerst enjoyed family outings and extended family vacations. He also loved participating in missionary work in several countries abroad. Some of his travels included genealogy research in the Czech Republic.
He was an avid fisherman spending countless hours during his retirement on the water catching some of the biggest fish (according to him) ever to be caught in Greers Ferry Lake.
Many of his extracurricular activities included cabinetry, building their entire kitchen from scratch, and gardening, growing some of the biggest tomatoes (according to him) in Cleburne County. He left behind many friends and extended family who he expects to join him soon (according to him). He will be dearly missed by everyone.
Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013; both at Westside First Baptist Church, Greers Ferry.
Internment will be at Shiloh Cemetery on the edge of the lake.
In lieu of flowers, please consider the Westside First Baptist Church building fund.
Published in The Log Cabin Democrat from May 7 to May 14, 2013