Neal Marlin Kester, 78, of Bowmanstown, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Salisbury Township, after a lengthy illness. He was the husband of Brenda J. (Ahner) Kester. They were married for 56 years on June 19.
Born in Palmerton on Feb. 8, 1943, he was a son of the late Warren and Catherine (Leiden) Kester. He was raised by his paternal grandparents, the late Frank and Amanda Kester, and he resided in Bowmanstown his entire life.
Neal was a talented musician. As a child, he played the accordion in “The Bee Bobbers,” a small local band consisting of himself and his friends, Neil Rehrig, Ronnie Bossard and Terry Berger. They played dance music for local community events and appeared on the “Strike It Rich” television show in New York City on March 17, 1953.
A 1961 graduate of Palmerton High School, Neal served in the U.S. Army National Guard after graduation. He was also employed by the former New Jersey Zinc Company, Palmerton, for 47 years, retiring in 2008.
He was an active participant at the former Freak And Fun House, a family-owned business in Bowmanstown, portraying characters such as Hannibal Lecter and Dr. Ben Dover. He was well-known for his banter and ability to entertain customers. He also enjoyed watching horror movies and WWE, and listening to his oldies. He enjoyed communicating and sharing stories with friends on Facebook, talking about his childhood and local history, and looked forward to weekly outings with his brother Brian.
Neal loved all animals unconditionally, and had numerous pet dogs and cats throughout his life. He instilled his love of animals in his children and grandchildren. In addition, he enjoyed his “porch chats,” and always had many visitors stop by during the warmer months. He enjoyed playing the PA lottery so he could visit with friends at the former Pappy’s Corner Store, and enjoyed running into people he knew at the Bowmanstown Post Office.
He was a longtime member of the Long Run Church of the Brethren, where he served as an elder. He enjoyed attending services every week, and sometimes filled in for delivering the sermons.
Surviving in addition to his widow are two daughters, Nora, wife of Delroy Ziegenfus of Palmerton, and Diana, whom he referred to as “Baba,” wife of Troy Muffley of Bowmanstown; two granddaughters, Delrae, wife of Jeremy Bragalone of Tresckow, and Kathryn Ziegenfus, and her companion, Eric Coberly, of Hamburg; a godchild, Amanda Bolton of Neffs, whom he affectionately nicknamed “Ugly Mandy;” a brother, Brian Kester, and his wife, Joan, of Whitehall; a sister, Ruthann Binder of Weissport; his mother-in-law, Mrs. Eleanor Ahner of Lehighton; his good friends William H. Ravert of Bowmanstown and Duane “LeLand” Dellecker of Lehighton; and his beloved pet Chihuahuas, Bella and Kelly.
He was also predeceased by his sister, Renee K. Spielman, who died in 2020.
Service: Memorial service 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, Long Run Church of the Brethren, Lehighton. Arrangements by Andrew Ovsak Funeral Home, Lehighton. Contributions in his name may be made to the Carbon Co. Animal (Dog) Shelter, 63 Broad St., Nesquehoning, PA 18240.
KESTER, Neal Marlin, 78, of Bowmanstown, June 22, 2021, in Salisbury Twp.; husband of Brenda J. (Ahner) Kester. Memorial service 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, Long Run Church of the Brethren, Lehighton. Arrangements by Andrew Ovsak Funeral Home, Lehighton. Contributions in his name may be made to the Carbon Co. Animal (Dog) Shelter, 63 Broad St., Nesquehoning, PA 18240.
From: Ovsak Funeral Home
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 7:08 AM
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Neal Marlin Kester, please visit our floral store.