Rev. Rick “Papa Bear” Kesterson STOWE — On May 26, 2021, Rick lost his struggle with deep depression and is resting in the arms of his Lord, Jesus Christ. His love of his family, his church families, his Stowe Ski Resort co-workers, his golfing buddies, missions' co-laborers and friends has left us all stunned and saddened. Bright lights are hard to find these days and Rick’s shone brightly for 64 years. Rick leaves behind his wife, Melissa Horde Kesterson of Stowe, Vermont; a son, Josh Kesterson of Jefferson City, Tennessee, and his wife, Tabitha, and their two children, Jaxon and Truly; a daughter, Pam Kesterson-Kamat of East Norriton, Pennsylvania, her husband, Tej; a brother, Michael Kesterson of King & Queen Courthouse, Virginia, and his wife, Mary; and a sister, Betty Tsitrian of Citra, Florida, and her husband, Peter. Rick's father, Clifton P. Kesterson, and his mother, Virginia, predeceased their son several years ago. Rick graduated from Spotsylvania H.S. in Virginia and married his high school sweetheart, Frances Griggs, and joined the USMC. Their two children soon followed but Frances lost her fight with diabetes. After several years of despair, Rick asked God to take over his life and he would follow him. Rick met Melissa in ‘89 and they married soon after. Rick graduated from SEBTS, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and went on to pastor two churches in his 29 years of ministry, Lower Northampton Baptist Church on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Resurrection Baptist Church in Montpelier, Vermont, and two years of being a missionary in Louisiana rebuilding homes following Hurricane Katrina. We will all miss the sound of his laughter, his corny riddles, his willingness to always lend a helping hand, and his generous nature in the coming days. Remember, if you’re ever struggling emotionally or thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255. Memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 3, 4 p.m. at Faith Community Church, 30 Jones Brothers Way, Barre, Vermont.

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To the Kesterson family, sending you my thoughts and deepest condolences during this very difficult time. It was a great pleasure to know Rick! He certainly knew how to make people smile.

With sympathy,

Krystal Bernier

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