Mary Veronica Kester – Ryan

Mary Veronica Kester, 99, formerly of Ryan, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at Hallmar Residential Care Center in Cedar Rapids. She was born on April 5, 1918, in Delaware County, the daughter of James and Agnes (Moroney) Keegan. She attended country school near Ryan, graduating from Coggon High School in 1936.


After graduation, Veronica worked as a bookkeeper for the Great Plains Lumberyard in Ryan and the Ryan Creamery and as a switchboard operator in the Ryan telephone office. However, she was most proud of her work as a farmwife and mother. On March 26, 1951, Veronica married Francis A. Kester at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Ryan. Five children were born to this union. Following retirement from farming, the couple moved to Marion, where they attended St. Joseph Catholic Church. Francis passed away on September 22, 2006.


Veronica resided at Hallmar Residential Care Center in Cedar Rapids for the past seven years. She was a long-time member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Ryan and a member of the Ryan American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed gardening, attending meetings of the Democratic party, and spending time with family.


Survivors include her five children, Mary (Bruce) Kuhn of Aurora, Colorado, Theresa (Doug) Andrus of Grand Marais, Minnesota, Larry Kester of Waterloo, Karen (Chris) Schendt of Papillion, Nebraska, and Kathy (Ralph) Waltman of Columbia, Missouri; six grandchildren, Adam Kuhn, Ryan (Carrie) Kuhn, Ian (Rachel) Andrus, Ross (Minda) Andrus, and Savannah and Austin Schendt; four great-grandchildren, Nora, Grant, Madison, and Dylan Andrus; a brother, Vincent Keegan of Robins; one sister, Catherine McCusker of Ryan; and many nieces and nephews.


Veronica was preceded in death by her husband, Francis Kester in 2006; her parents; and two sisters, Lavina Claus and Rita Keegan.


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Mass of Christian Burial: 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Ryan, with Reverend Joseph Schneider officiating.


Visitation: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25, 2017, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester, with a 4:00 p.m. Scripture Service. Friends may also call one hour prior to the mass on Saturday at the church.


Interment: Calvary Cemetery – Ryan