John R. "Jack" Kestler (1922 - 2017)

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John R. "Jack" Kestler, 95, of 1005 S. Michael Street, St. Marys, died on Monday, July 31, 2017, at Elk Haven Nursing Home.
He was born on Saturday, April 29, 1922, in Jamestown, N.Y., a son of the late John and Alice Rowland Kestler.
Jack married his first wife, Kathryn Kay Kifer, in 1945. He married his second wife, Shirley Lardner in 1973, and they both preceded him in death. He married his third wife, Beula Delp Bodistow Kestler, on Feb. 16, 2007, and she survives.
Jack graduated from Johnsonburg High School and enlisted and proudly served our country in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a graduate of the 82nd Airborne Division of Company C, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment and jumped in the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944. He was captured by the Germans and held as a Prisoner of War for nearly nine months before being liberated by the Russians. He was discharged as a Staff Sergeant after 3 1/2 years of service. He was a member of the 507 Airborne Association, which he was active with until his death. Following his military service, he worked at the Johnsonburg paper mill for 33 years. Until his retirement, he worked for the PA Dept. of Agriculture with the school lunch programs.
Always active in the community, Jack been employed by the county of Elk for more than 27 years, serving as county treasurer for 19 years and eight years as auditor. He had been a member of Holy Rosary while living in Johnsonburg and was then a member of Sacred Heart Church. He was also a member of the American Legion and the K of C, member and past president of the Rotary Club, and past president of the Johnsonburg Welfare Chest Fund.
He enjoyed politics and had also served two terms on the St. Marys School Board. He took pleasure in hunting and traveling.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by seven daughters: Bonnie Skellen of Ridgway, Sharon Kestler of Erie, Sophie Berry of Emporium, Patricia Macullum of New Jersey, Sheila Lardner of Weedville, Sheryl Gruesu of Kersey, and Noreen Lewis of Erie, and by three sons, Albert Lardner of New York, Paul Lardner of New York, and Alan Lardner of Ridgway. He is also survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as by two stepchildren, Carl Bodistow of Northeast, and Mary Kepner of Sayre.
In addition to his parents and his first and second wives, he was preceded in death by a son, Lawrence Lardner in 2005 and by a brother, Joseph Kestler.
Due to renovations at Sacred Heart Church, a Mass of Christian Burial for John R. Kestler will be celebrated in Sacred Heart Parish Activity Center, 337 Center Street, St. Marys, on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, at 10 a.m. with Fr. Eric Vogt, OSB, as celebrant.
Military honors will be accorded by the St. Marys Servicemen's Burial Detail.
Interment will follow in Parklawn Memorial Gardens.
Visitation will be held at the Lynch-Green Funeral Home on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Church or to the St. Marys Servicemen's Burial Detail.
Lynch-Green Funeral Home, 151 N. Michael St., St. Marys, is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be made to the family at
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Lynch-Green Funeral Home Inc.
151 North Michael Street
St. Marys, PA 15857
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Published in The Courier Express on Aug. 2, 2017
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