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Jerry Ray Kester
May 27, 1954 ~ October 13, 2023 (age 69) 69 Years Old
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Jerry Ray Kester was born May 27, 1954, in McMinnville, Oregon to Kenneth and Vera Kester. He was the youngest to join the family of older brother, David and sister, Millie. He passed away at the age of 69 on October 13, 2023, in his home in Olympia, Washington with his family by his side.
He attended elementary schools in Caldwell and Boise, Idaho, West Junior High, and graduating from Borah High School in 1973, being voted “Mr. Friendly” his senior year. He graduated from Bethany Nazarene College, now Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma in 1977 and immediately began a Master of Religion degree. He attended Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri and had just completed all the coursework for a Doctor of Ministry degree also through Nazarene Theological Seminary, but his health decline prevented him from completing the dissertation.
Jerry served as a youth pastor for 20 years in Bethany, Oklahoma, Kent, Washington, and Nampa, Idaho before accepting a lead pastor position in Twin Falls, Idaho, where he would serve for 17 years. He was then elected to the position of superintendent for the Washington Pacific District of the Church of the Nazarene and served there until his passing. He was on multiple committees throughout the denomination, also serving as the Vice Chair for the Board of Trustees for Northwest Nazarene University.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sharon (Jarrell); son, Greg (Denice) Kester, Boise, Idaho; son, Brad (Merrily) Kester, Maui, Hawaii; grandson, Declan of Boise, Idaho and granddaughter Umika of Maui, Hawaii; sister Millie (Charles) Watkins; stepbrother, Gary (Maxeen) Evans; stepsister, Karen Lee; stepsister, Sheryl (Bill) Vernor along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In 1987, Jerry and Sharon had the privilege of becoming the legal guardians for Sarah (Leis) Thompson. She and her brother, Henry, along with their spouses, children, and a recent grandson have been part of their family and always will be. Love has no boundaries!
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Vera Kester, stepfather, George Evans, brother, David Kester and grandson, Micah Kester (son of Greg and Denice Kester).
In lieu of flowers the family suggests that you consider making contributions in Jerry’s memory to Northwest Nazarene University for the Ministerial Student Scholarship Fund, 623 So. University Blvd., Nampa, ID 83686 or the Nazarene World Evangelism Fund: https://give.nazarene.org/donate/world-evangelismfund
A Celebration of Life Service for Jerry will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at the Nampa First Church of the Nazarene, 601 16th Ave. So. in Nampa. A private family burial will take place at the Cloverdale Cemetery in Boise prior to the celebration service. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
Services are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So., Nampa, Idaho 83651 – 208-442-8171.