Robert W. Kesteloot
{ "" }
Share Robert's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Captain ROBERT W. KESTELOOT  U.S. NAVY (Ret.) (Age 77)  
Captain Robert W. Kesteloot, of Potomac Falls, VA, on Friday, September 23, 2011, at Capital Caring Hospice in Arlington, VA., following a valiant fight with cancer. Beloved husband of 30 years to Julie Kesteloot, and loving father to Walter, Amy, Bobby and Matthew and grandfather to Ashley, Haley, Morgan, Jim, John and D'amy.  Born March 4, 1934, in Pt. Huron, Michigan, to parents Walter and Josephine Kesteloot. Captain Kesteloot graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce. He attended OCS and was commissioned an Ensign in December 1956. He graduated with Distinction from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) in 1977. He served as Commanding Officer of the USS CATAWBA, Executive Officer of the USS MANSFIELD, Commanding Officer of the USS LOCKWOOD, and Commanding Officer of the U.S. Naval Base, Subic Bay, Philippines.  Captain Kesteloot's Decorations/Medals include Legion of Merit; Bronze Star with Combat "V"; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" and Gold Stars in lieu of second and third awards; Vietnam Service Medal w/10 Campaign Stars; Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of Second Award; Navy Unit Citation w/Gold Star in lieu of second award. Following retirement in 1986, Captain Kesteloot and family resided in Reston, VA, where he successfully owned and operated his own consulting business. Retiring again in 2005, he and Julie moved to Potomac Falls, VA.  A funeral and Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, October 1, at 11 a.m. at Vale United Methodist Church, 11528 Vale Road, Oakton, VA. Funeral services with full military honors at Ft. Myer Old Post Chapel and interment at Arlington National Cemetery will be held at a later date. Please view and sign the family guestbook at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Washington Post on Sep. 27, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
6 entries
October 1, 2011
In my 22 years in the Navy (most of which were on Destroyer type vessels) I have only one clear memory that stands out regarding the Commanding Officers I served under. Captain Kesteloot was the C.O. at the time USS Lockwood was executing a course change in the Gulf of Tonkin when the engine room signaled a loss of feed water to the boilers and a commensurate loss of power to the propulsion system. The ship had just begun turning away from what was an in-line with the coast position and had the decision to continue with the turn be made, she (the ship) would have presented a broadside "target" to the North Vietnamese gunners. Captain Kesteloot ordered the rudder amidships and continued a heading directly towards the coast until feed water was restored. He thereby presented a much smaller target and possibly placed the vessel under the normal targeting of the Artillery until such time as normal power enabled the ship to maneuversafely out of range to more distant waters.
NOTE: I was a radioman on The Lockwood and am repeating what was told to me by those more likely in the know regarding this account. If I have erred in the telling, I'm sure I will hear about it. I will hold Captain Kesteloot's memory dearly.

God Bless the family..
Don Newburn
September 27, 2011
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Your father sounds like he was a wonderful man. And we're sure you and your brothers have many wonderful memories growing up in a military family. Although your dad was certainly taken from you way too soon. We hope the memories you share with your loved ones will help support you during this difficult time.
Kathy and Kevin Vienna (Coronado
September 27, 2011
I served as Weapons Officer on the Lockwood under Capt. Kesteloot's command in 1972-73. He was the finest CO I served under, a terrific leader and mentor. He challenged the crew to be the best and supported our efforts, providing opportunities not available at other commands. The lessons he taught me served me well throughout my career. Some of my most memorable sea stories occurred during my tour with the Captain and I will remember him with great fondness and respect. Pete Bishop, CDR USN (ret)
Peter Bishop
September 27, 2011
I had the pleasure of serving with Captain Kesteloot on the USS LOCKWOOD. He was a great commanding officer.

My condolence to his family and loves ones.

Jerry Hays
Santee, CA
Jerry Hays
September 27, 2011
Bob will be greatly missed by his Notre Dame family; he was always a caring and helping guy that enjoyed being with folks and doing what needed to be done. We're proud that he was one of us, and that we got to know him for these 59 years since we started ND together in 1959
John Manion
September 27, 2011
To the family of Robert Kesteloot, My name is Jackie Brown my late husband Thomas (Tom) Brown served with your husband and father on the USS Lockwood back in the condolences ..thoughts and prayers go out to all of husband thought the world of him and he always took time to get to know his men and the families..even after he left the ship he would call to make sure the kids and I were doing ok when the ship was deployed....I know if Tom were here he would say " Fair winds and following Seas"... God Bless you and your family
Jackie Brown
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences