Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 25, 2022 for Kathryn S. “Kay” Hester, who died at the age of 98, in Cade, LA, on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Visitation will begin at 12 noon at the First United Methodist Church in New Iberia, LA, followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m., with the Reverend Paul Fontenot officiating. Interment will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family requests that social distancing be observed.
Kay was born in Carson, Louisiana in Beauregard Parish, on March 2, 1923, she attended schools in Deridder, LA., graduating from Deridder High School in 1941. She married James Golden Hester later that year and moved to Spanish Lake where she lived for over the next 75 years, with a brief period of travel as an Army wife. Upon the death of her husband in 1972, she transitioned from her role as a homemaker to a career in the loan department of Iberia Savings and Loan, where she made many friends and enjoyed her productive engagement with her co-workers and clients.
She was devout Methodist, and dedicated untold hours and energy serving on church committees and boards, teaching and superintending Sunday school, and brightening the lives of all in the congregation with her unflagging enthusiasm and bright smile. For many years, the annual church Easter egg hunt that she hosted at the family home on Spanish Lake was a highlight of that community’s calendar. It was not only a time of delight for children romping around for treasures, but also for the adults who enjoyed the spectacular gardens.
To describe Kay as an avid gardener risks understatement. Visitors would express their awe when learning that she maintained several lush, beautiful acres almost single-handedly, well into her eighties. Her children, grandchildren, and friends all knew that she was at her happiest with her hands in the dirt – or astride her zero-turn radius riding lawn mower.
She loved to share her garden, not just with other people, but with the wide range of birds who visited her; she kept binoculars handy, and her favorite chair looked out onto an ever-changing array of bird baths, hummingbird feeders, and perching branches.
Kay Hester deeply loved her home and family, and she reached out to serve her community as well. She was a member of the Friends of the Iberia Library, ably volunteering with annual book sale, and served as a much-valued mentor in the Sugarland Elementary School Garden, sharing her considerable gardening knowledge with children, and often outworking many of the younger volunteers in weeding the garden beds.
In 1941, when newlywed Kay Hester joined her husband on the family property on Spanish Lake, there was an elder pecan tree growing to the east of the house. For almost half a century she tended that tree, picked hundreds of pounds of its pecans, and sent her children to play under its gentle shade. When the tree fell in the mid-80s, a coffee table was made from the harvested heart of the tree, and now it has been given its final re-purpose: It is in the wood from that old tree and that treasured table that Kay’s ashes reside. The family thanks Anne Darrah for handcrafting this beautiful urn from the pecan wood.
Mrs. Hester was preceded in death by her husband, James G. Hester; daughter, Emily Hester Boles; her parents Velma and Clyde Stauffer; and her sister Dorothy Stauffer Keller.
She is survived by her son, Robert J. Hester; daughter Susan Hester Edmunds, married to James Edmunds; two grandsons, Micheal Boles married to Heather, and their daughters, Maddison and Anna Claire; and Howard Boles and his children Cody Boles and Raven Boles Glass, married to Scout Glass; and one great-great grandson Greyson Glass. In addition to family she leaves behind good friends, including Betty Helms, Charles Turnage and Jane Armstead.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Robert Hankenhoff, Dr. Venetia Patout, and Dr. Tina Theriot for their years of kindness and able care; Traditions Hospice and the nursing staff of Landmark of Acadiana in Cade for easing her last weeks, as well as Azalea Estates Assisted Living and caregivers Jane Armstead, Agatha Ford, Patti Monceaux, and Rachelle Bourque.
Pellerin Funeral Home, 502 Jefferson Terrace, New Iberia, LA 70560, 337-365-3331