- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Mary Paterson Kester, who did administrative work at several colleges and later became a community volunteer, died Sept. 15 at Manor Care nursing home in Wilmington, Del., after a lengthy illness. She was 81.

The former Mary Kerr Paterson was born in 1924, the eldest child of the late Dr. and Mrs. R.K. Paterson of Ottawa, Canada. She graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.

In 1947, she married Columbia classmate Gordon H. Kester of Rochester, N.Y.

Mrs. Kester worked in administrative capacities at Brown University from 1947 to 1950, the University of Rochester from 1971 to 1978, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland from 1978 to 1986.

She was active in the League of Women Voters in Delaware and New York.

After her husband’s retirement from college administration and their return to Delaware, Mrs. Kester tutored students in English for several years for the Literacy Volunteers of America and served in the Meals on Wheels program.

Her husband of 56 years died in 2003.

She is survived by a brother, Robert Paterson of Ottawa; a sister, Elizabeth Lawrence of Calgary, Alberta; two daughters, Marian K. Coombs of Crofton, Md., a writer and teacher who is married to Francis Coombs, managing editor of The Washington Times, and Janet E. Kester of Wentzville, Mo.; a son, Lt. Col. James P. Kester of Newark, Del.; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 30 at Chandler Funeral Home in Wilmington. Interment of her ashes will be in November in Churchville, N.Y.

Gifts in her memory may be made to Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6.


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