Cover photo for James "Jim" Marvin Kester's Obituary
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James "Jim" Marvin Kester

August 17, 1942 — March 12, 2024

Mabelvale

James "Jim" Marvin Kester

James Marvin “Jim” Kester of Mabelvale passed away on March 12, 2024.  He was born in Pawnee, Oklahoma to Ulus and Beatrice Kester. As an infant, his mother passed away from cancer.  Years later, his Father married his “Mom” Ida.  When Jim was a young boy, his father passed away and Ida remarried Walter Wilde who helped raise Jim as his own son. 

Jim dedicated over eight years of service to the United States Navy and the United States Air Force.  Jim had an undying love and admiration for this country and its men and women in the armed forces.  His passion for the service led him to become an auxiliary police officer with the Little Rock Police Department.  He never failed to acknowledge his appreciation for the military and the police.  If he saw an officer or military personnel at a restaurant, he would secretly pay for their meal.  After paying, he made sure he would thank them for their service, and tell them to get home safe to their families.  There were times he did this several times a day.  He refused to let a service member pay for their meal. In Jim’s professional career, he retired after 42 years in public relations from Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation.   

Jim married the love of his life Gloria, and they had their miracle baby Jeremy in October of 1977.  He loved being a father and spending as much time as he could with Jeremy.  He became the Scoutmaster for Jeremy’s troop, the Quapaw Area Council Troop 426. The things they learned in Scouts lead them both to their love of the great outdoors.  Together they hunted, fished, and camped all over Arkansas.  Jim enjoyed riding and owning Goldwing motorcycles with sidecars.  He was a member of the Gold Wing Riders of Arkansas and helped to organize gatherings for the group.  Jim, Gloria, and Jeremy would take their Goldwing all over the country touring as many national parks as they could, including Yosemite National Park.  

None of this compared to his love of being a Grandpa.  He waited his whole life to be a Grandpa.  He was his grandchildren’s biggest fan, supporter, and cheerleader.  He always spoke life and positivity into their lives.  Hearing about their hobbies and their schooling made his day.  After retiring, Jim would meet the bus every afternoon to get them off the bus so he could take them to get their afternoon snack.  He would either take them to their favorite gas station to let them buy whatever they wanted, or they would end up for an early dinner at East End Café.  We jokingly said Jim always had “McDonald’s money” for his grandkids but not for Jeremy.  He loved to spoil them with love and life as much as he could. 

Jim will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife Gloria; all of his parents, his sister-in-law Frances Wallis, and brother-in-law Jackie Creekmore.

He is survived by his son Jeremy Kester (Patricia); grandchildren, Maverick, Irelynn and Elynn Kester; brothers Mark (Rose) and Calvin Kester (Valerie); sisters-in-law, Cynthia Ball and Faye Creekmore; brother-in-law, Larry Wallis; and his loyal companion Diesel; as well as numerous  nieces, nephews, and extended family members and friends he loved dearly. 

Memorial services will be Tuesday, March 19, 2024.  The visitation will be at Smith-Benton Funeral Home, 322 N Market St. Benton, Arkansas at 10:00 a.m. with the funeral at 11:00 a.m. followed by a military burial at Salem Cemetery in East End, Arkansas.   

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Pevahouse and the men and women at the Little Rock Fresenius Kidney Care for their loving care they gave Jim over the last several years.  We would also like to thank the employees at East End Café and Frontier Diner for always making sure Jim was taken care of when he came in to eat.  He loved you all dearly. 

Arrangements entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home.
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Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home Benton

322 N Market Street, Benton, AR 72015

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home Benton

322 N Market Street, Benton, AR 72015

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Burial

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

12:30 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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