Katherine (Kitty) C. Lester

April 20, 1922 ~ February 2, 2018 (age 95)


               Katherine (Kitty) C. Lester (nee Kutzli), age 95, born April 20, 1922 in Urbana, Ohio. Passed away Friday, February 02, 2018, at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center. Preceded in death by her husband, Paul F. Lester and her parents, Clarence and Marie (nee Grove) Kutzli. Survived by her three daughters, Paula Lester, Carolyn Lester and Nancy Sitton.

               As a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio (Class of ’44), Kitty received a B.S. in Education, while a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority, Kappa Delta Pi, and a Mortar Board recipient.

               She launched her 25-year teaching career in Ashland, Ohio. Kitty returned to Ohio Wesleyan to accept the dual post of Assistant Dean of Freshmen Women and University Social Coordinator. While at her alma mater, she met a member of the music faculty, Paul Lester, married, and soon moved to Joliet.

               Kitty taught part-time as a kindergarten teacher at Reedswood and Pershing Schools. Utilizing her background in art, she became an adult education instructor of arts and crafts at JTHS/JJC.

               She returned to full-time teaching status with Joliet Public Schools, District 86 in 1964.  She piloted a creatively-gifted student program, while teaching third grade at Reedswood School.  She remained there for 19 years, retiring in 1983. Kitty’s own creativity helped fuel the framework and guidance for individual creative expression for both students and community alike.                       

           Among her professional affiliations were: The Will County Reading Council, PTA Life Membership, the Delta Kappa Gamma Society Int’l Lambda State Organization (Rho Chapter), P.E.O. (Chapter BA), and the Joliet Woman’s Study Club. Kitty was a long-term member of First Presbyterian Church of Joliet.  She had been active in the Stephen Ministry. She was Past President of: The Welfare Study Club, (affiliated with the IL Federation of Women’s Clubs), JJC Faculty Wives, Will County Pan-Hellenic, Silver Cross Hospital Advisory Board, and P.E.O. (Chapter BA). Kitty discovered and shared her strength of leadership throughout her career.  Her commitment to the advancement of women in all walks of life became a lifetime passion. Kitty’s positive approach to life was an inspiration to those who knew her.

                A private celebration of Kitty Lester’s life will be held.  Private interment at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery at a later date.

               Donations to:  Cottey College Scholarship, 1000 W. Austin Blvd., Nevada, MO 64772, in memory of Katherine (Kitty) Lester would be appreciated.

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