Esther Swartz Kester, Class of 1964

Posted Aug 19, 2022

Kester Esther Obit Pic

Esther Swartz Kester ’64 died August 3, 2022. She was born on December 1, 1942 in Wadsworth, OH to Betty and William Swartz.

Esther grew up in Wayne County, Ohio and attended the Rittman, Ohio public schools. She was graduated from Otterbein College in 1964 with a BS in Education. She later received an MA in Education from Edinboro College (now WestPenn Universtiy). While at Otterbein she was a member of the Tau Delta (Deltas) sorority.

Esther taught English and Language Arts first in Geneva, OH, public schools, and then after marriage to Jim, in Ralston, NE, Zweibrucken, West Germany, and Northmont Public Schools in Englewood, Ohio. She retired from teaching in 1998 after 30 years of creditable service. She coauthored a conference paper on educating junior high students.

She was an energetic church member. She founded the bookstore at Christ Church, recruited people to work it, and obtained publications to sell. She became a fast friend of the members of her church women’s group. She was a leader of the annual Sunday party for hot dogs and sundaes, keeping a collection of how-to and lessons learned. She served Holy Communion on a rotating schedule and also ushered at times.

Within her community, she assisted with the annual graduation picnic for 6th graders moving up. She canvassed for charities in the neighborhood, heart fund and cancer research. In Northmont she hosted a Sister Cities visitor from Germany.

Esther enjoyed traveling to Carolina beaches, Stratford, Ontario (for Shakespeare plays), the Lake Erie shore, Maine, and Boston. Enjoyed concerts and recordings of Handel’s Messiah.

She is survived by her husband, James Kester, by her children Deborah Ruscitelli (Tony) and Robert Kester, and granddaughter Kristen, mother Betty Gift, and several nieces and nephews and their children.