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PULASKI, PA – Cornelis G. Kester, 83, of Pulaski, PA passed away unexpectedly late Friday evening with his loving wife by his side.
Cor was born on a blistering cold Tuesday, January 9, 1940, in The Netherlands and was the son of Theodorus and Hendrica Van Steekelenburg Kester and came to this country in 1975 following many years spent in Puerto Rico and Peru with the Dutch Dominican Order following his call to serve others.
Cor was deeply rooted in his faith and was a member of St. Patrick Church in Hubbard, a former member of Holy Spirit Parish in New Bedford in which he was involved in numerous activities. He was a member of the Choir, a Lector, Sacristan, Eucharistic Minister at church and for the homebound, member of Parish Council, RCIA, Marriage Prep, Baptism Training, and he volunteered at the Lenten Friday fish dinners and many church breakfasts.
Cor was actively involved in his community serving in varied capacities with many organizations, committees and boards including the Mahoning Valley Men’s Garden Club, New Bedford Lions Club, Goodwill, Primary Health Network, and Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry to name a few. Cor supported his children in their endeavors by coaching youth soccer teams for Wilmington Area Soccer Club, as well as the girls’ soccer coach at Ursuline High School and was President of the Ursuline Band Boosters. More recently Cor was involved in mission work with the Jesuits in Peru and always sought to help his fellow man. This led him to participate in several medical mission trips to remote areas of South America
His selflessness was evident throughout his career beginning with the Youngstown Community Action Council, Mercer County Mental Health, Director of Planning at St. Elizabeth Hospital and finally as the Assistant Administrator for Mahoning County Job and Family Services, retiring in 2004.
Cor met the love of his life, Joyce, in 1967 in Puerto Rico and the rest as they say is history. They were married in 1976 and created a beautiful life together over the course of 47 years of marriage blessed with kids, Ted and Kelly. Both benefited greatly from his love, support and encouragement in every stage of their lives. He celebrated their many accomplishments and was very proud of them both. He was adored by his 5 grandkids, he was their Opa and spent countless hours reading with them and playing games. Cor was an avid gardener and enjoyed planting both flower and vegetable gardens. He always had advice, seeds, or transplants to offer for family and friends. He had a passion for farming and caring for his animals, particularly the alpacas that came to the farm in 2008. Most afternoons you could find him watching a soccer match or reading a good book. He had a love of all things Peruvian. Cor would be one of the first people out on the dance floor for any celebration. His positive outlook was a blessing to all who met him and his work ethic was unmatched.
Cor leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife Joyce, formerly McGunigal, whom he wed May 1, 1976, a son, Ted (Julie) Kester of Canfield, Ohio; a daughter, Kelly (Shane) Hochstetler of Exeter, New Hampshire; and his precious grandchildren, Callie, Riley, Emma, Cora, and Paul. Also surviving Cor are siblings, Wim, Theo, Graard, Truus, Riek, Leonore, Margo, Jose, and Michael.
He was preceded in death by his loving parents and sisters, Wilhelmina and Marianne.
The Kester family will receive relatives and friends from 4 to 7 pm Thursday, July 20, 2023 at St Patrick Church in Hubbard and Friday, July 21, 2023 at St. Patrick Church in Hubbard from 10 to 11am followed by Mass of Christian Burial at St Patrick’s celebrated by Reverend Father Michael Swierz.
In lieu of flowers, Cor would greatly appreciate donations be made to either Golden String Camp for People with Disabilities in Coitsville, OH (https://www.gabbacamp.com) or to the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry (https://www.ursulinesistersaids.org/donate/).
Thoughts and condolences can be sent to the funeral home website www.mccauleyfuneral.com
Arrangements by The McCauley Funeral privileged to serve the valley for more than 121 years!