Francis "Bud" Kestel

francis kestel
Francis "Bud" Kestel, age 87, of New Hampton, IA passed away on Thursday, May 25, 2017 with his family by his side at home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton, IA with Father Brian Dellaert celebrating the mass. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton with the New Hampton American Legion Post #38 providing military honors. Visitation will be held from 3:00-7:00 PM on Monday, May 29, 2017 at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in New Hampton with a 7:00 PM Scriptural Wake Service. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the funeral mass on Tuesday. Online condolences for Bud’s family may be left at Memorials may be directed to the family. F.H. “Bud” Kestel was born on April 6, 1930 in Le Mars, Iowa, the eighth child of Frank and Theresa (Niehus) Kestel. He attended St. Mary’s School in Remsen, Iowa, graduating in 1948. Bud enlisted in the United States Navy during the Korean War, serving his nation for four years in Hawaii, and off the coast of Korea, including the Yellow and China Seas. Upon his return home, Bud continued his education in Kansas City for Aircraft Mechanics and Engineering. He began working for Trans World Airways as a licensed FAA preparing aircraft for returning to battle. In 1959, Bud married Mary Frank at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen, IA. In 1960, Bud and Mary moved to a farm east of New Hampton where he’s made his home since. Mary passed away in 1977. Bud and Bonnie Pietan began courting in 1978. It was on November 30, 1991 when Bud was united in marriage to Bonnie at United Church of Christ in New Hampton. The couple continued to farm together with their family. Bud especially enjoyed working with his cattle. He took great pride in working the ground and caring for the land. Bud retired from farming in the fall of 1993. In his retirement, Bud remained active for many years on the farm, and drove for Zip’s. He was active in the Knight of Columbus, especially Knight of Columbus softball. He was also a member of the New Hampton American Legion Post # 38 and New Hampton VFW Post # 5238, serving as commander for several years. Bud and Bonnie enjoyed wintering in Texas, fishing with his naval friend, Rob, and spending time with his family and especially grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bud is survived by his wife, Bonnie Kestel of New Hampton; children, Allen (Alicia) Calhoun of Charles City, IA, Gary (Theresa) Calhoun of Sumner, IA, Anna (Chris) Havlik of New Hampton, IA, Kel’lee Pietan of New Hampton, IA; grandchildren, Danielle, Carlene, Clint, Sadie, Alex, Theresa, Maria, Garrett, Logan, Julia, John, Emma, Olivia, Kevin, Steve, Amber; 6 great-grandchildren; sisters, Cleo Lord of Des Moines, IA, Lorna Pick of Omaha, NE; sisters-in-law, Caroline Ohm of De Soto, WI and Mary Markee of Lawler, IA; brother-in-law, Ed (Vickie) Throndson of Lawler, IA and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary; two sons in infancy, Francis Jr and Kayo; his brothers; Gil, Carl, and Harold; his sisters, Ethel and MaryAnn; and his mother-in-law, Eva Throndson.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Chris and Anna family,
    So sorry to hear of the loss of a beloved stepfather and grandpa and wonderful caring person.
    He will be deeply missed by all and may God give you comfort at this most difficult time.
    Gloria Parks, Mark, Rhonda McCumber &family
    Brenda Parks

  2. Condolences & Prayers to Bud’s Family. I Remember way back when I was a kid. We went to town on Saturdays, haircuts, shopping, visits to Grandma & Grandpa’s. Before we headed home, we would stop by “Utley’s Tavern.” I would get a pop, play the jukebox, the bowling machine, were alot of people we knew. My Dad worked with John Utley at “Rath, ” in Waterloo. Bud would chat with Us, wink at me. He liked my auburn curls. Mary & Him were upbeat, friendly. Mary was Beautiful, loved to dance. Some people ask how I remember so much from childhood? I just do. I lost my Daddy in 2012 & Mommy in 2013. All the Good, Hard- working, Friendly, Honorable People from that Generation, are passing. God Bless You All, Peace & Love, Debbie(Vorwald) Morrison

  3. I didn’t know Bud, but I thank him for loving my nieces and their children. There is a special place in heaven for people like him. Gods Blessing.

  4. My sympathies to Bud’s family. Always enjoyed our K of C Softball trips!!! A lot of great memories of those days as well as great memories of Bud. Rest in peace Bud!!!

  5. Aunt Bonnie and family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed visiting with Bud. I have memories of him that I will never forget. Blessings to your entire family. Toni Galloway

  6. Our thoughts & prayers go out to you Bonnie & your entire family. May the memories you have with Bud bring you peace during this difficult time. Blessings, Jamie & Karen Heit Family

  7. We are so sorry for your loss. He was a great guy and we have very fond memories of working with him back in the days during Knights of Columbus events.

  8. All my thoughts and prayers to you Bonnie and your family. May his memories be ever in your minds. Jeanne Roder

  9. RIP: Bud. Bud was one of the first People Jane and I met when we stopped at the Hi-Fi back in 1967 on our way back to Wisconsin, where lived at the time, and became friends there after, many memories. Our sympathy goes out to you Bonnie, and the rest of the family. Larry

  10. Bonnie and family. I will keep you all in my prayers during this difficult time. Bus was a great guy and he wjll be missed by many. Hold your memories close.

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