William Kestel

William Paul Kestel, 89 of Storm Lake died Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 surrounded by his loving daughters.

Funeral Mass was held on Thursday, Sept. 5, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Storm Lake. Burial was in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Storm Lake. Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake was in charge of the arrangements.

He was born Dec. 29, 1929 on his family’s farm near Storm Lake, the son of William Michael and Mae (Grigsby) Kestel.

Bill attended a one room schoolhouse, Hayes Consolidated School, and later graduated from Storm Lake St. Mary’s in 1947. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1951 and was stationed at Stead Air Force Base in Reno, Nev. His time in the service brought him lasting memories and many stories. He proudly served his country for two years until his honorable discharge.

On Jan. 3, 1953, Bill was united in marriage to Mary Alice Smith at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Storm Lake. Together they were blessed with four daughters: Colette, Alice, Lisabeth “Libby” and Ann.

A man of faith and a lifetime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bill supported all aspects of the church and school including being a member of the Knights of Columbus, delivery trips for SOS, and attending numerous school activities while his children were growing up.

Bill began farming as a young boy and never lost his love for being on the land and on his tractors. Airplanes were always a big interest to him. He could identify the model and year of any airplane he saw. Living next to the airport he often spent time there watching the airplanes and talking with the hanger staff and pilots.

Other cherished memories were his many travels with his wife Mary, including trips to the Panama Canal, Hawaii, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean. He loved coffee with his friends, going on tractor rides and participating in the AmVets Honor Guard.

Probably the thing that Bill was best known for was his kind and gentle nature. As he greeted people he was quick to ask about their family or give them a compliment. Everyone knew they could always trust and count on him to help in any way.

Bill’s biggest love and enjoyment was being with his family. He continued to regularly attend games and activities of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always beaming with pride anytime he had his family gathered around him. He had the ability to make each grandchild feel important in their own special way. He had a long life well-lived and will be greatly missed by all.

Those left to cherish his memory include daughters: Alice Graves, children Peter (Maggie) Graves and Eric Graves, all of Ventura, Calif.; Libby Kestel, Iowa City; and Ann (Mark) Meyer, children Matt, Makenzie, Megan and Macy of Mason City; son-in-law Tom King of Johnston, children Brian (Erin) of Nantucket, Mass., David King of  Newport Beach, Calif., Aaron (Kelli) King of West Des Moines, Sarah (Reggie) Voyles of Sac City and Lisa (Mat) Beaman of Ankeny; great-grandchildren: Sydney, Kinnick and Charlie King; William, Landon and Millie Voyles; brother John (Mary Ellen) Kestel of Goleta, Calif.

Preceding Bill in death were his parents; wife Mary Alice; sister Dorothy Kestel; daughter Colette King; and granddaughter Laura King. 

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