Mary Kestel

Mary Alice (Smith) Kestel, 88, of Storm Lake passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Nov. 1, 2017 at Methodist Manor in Storm Lake.

Funeral mass was held Tuesday, Nov. 7, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Storm Lake. Burial followed in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake was in charge of the arrangements. 

She was born on Jan. 3, 1929 in Peoria, Ill., the youngest daughter of Frank Donald Smith and Madelyne (Grable). Mary had fond memories of Peoria where her family was prominent in business and the community, co-owning Clark-Smith Wholesale Hardware Company. In 1940, she moved with her family to Storm Lake. Mary described a childhood of playing backyard games with neighbor kids and staying busy with many school activities.Her high school year book listed her as ‘dark and striking’ and ‘always loads of fun’.

Following graduation, Mary was a bank teller at Security National Bank. It was while searching for watermelons with girlfriends on the Kestel farm that this Storm Lake High School homecoming queen, with that twinkle in her blue eyes and adventure in her heart, met Bill Kestel. They were married on Jan. 5, 1953, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Following their wedding they moved to Reno, Nev. where Bill was stationed at Stead Air Force Base.  After Bill’s discharge, they returned to Storm Lake where they went on to raise their four daughters: Colette, Alice, Libby and Ann.

Not one to be idle, Mary was always active in her church and community. She presided over the boards of St. Mary’s School, Storm Lake YMCA, BV Community Theatre (where she also starred onstage), St. Mary’s Guild and the Hospital Auxillary. She was also active in Catholic Daughters of America, Sioux City Diocesan School Board and was part of numerous other projects and activities.  She believed in the right to vote and spent years as a precinct volunteer.

Once the kids were all in school, Mary worked 17 years at Nomad Travel Agency.  Mary and Bill enjoyed trips from Alaska to Hawaii as well as cruises to European and Caribbean locations. She could also often be found playing golf or at the swimming pool, but Mary’s favorite activity was attending ball games. She was always the fiercest advocate and loudest fan of any team involving a daughter or grandchild.

A recent remark to describe Mary summed it up well; where ever Mary went “she always caused a lot of fun.”

Those left to cherish her memory are, Bill, devoted husband of 64 years; son-in-law, Tom King, Urbandale; children: Brian (Erin) King, Nantucket, Mass.; David King, Newport Beach, Calif.; Aaron (Kelli) King, West Des Moines; Sarah (Reggie) Voyles, Sac City; Lisa King, Ankeny; daughter, Alice Graves, children Peter (Maggie) Graves and Eric Graves, all of Ventura, Calif.; Libby Kestel, Iowa City; Ann (Mark) Meyer, children Matt, Makenzie, Megan and Macy of Mason City; sister and best friend, Dorothy (Teenie) Smith, Storm Lake; niece, Nettie Renshaw, Algona; great-grandchildren: Sydney, Kinnick and Charlie King,  William and Landon Voyles.

Preceding Mary in death were her parents; brother, Frank Donald Smith; daughter, Colette King; and granddaughter, Laura King.