Laurence Kesterke

Laurence Kesterke

Laurence was born in Minitonas, Manitoba on August 13th, 1936. At the age 4 his mother, Martha Gaultz, passed away and he was adopted by Emmanual and Gulta Kesterke. He met and fell in love with his wife Betty of 54 years. They married in Minitonas on August 12, 1957. Their first son, Dennis, was born in Swan River, Manitoba in October of 1959. At the time of Dennis’ birth, Laurence was illegally deer hunting with his father in law; and proudly killed 2 deer on this trip – Dennis’ comes by his hunting passion honestly; literally from the day he was born. The family moved to Atikokan, Ontario where Laurence worked for Kaland Oil. In July of 1961, their daughter Monica was born. He was absent from her birth because he was playing baseball. The family moved back to Swan River for a short time before moving to Prince George, B.C. where Laurence worked road construction for Ben Guenter. He worked in

Stewart, B.C. and also left his mark by helping construct the bypass in Prince George along with many roads in the interior. For 2 years Laurence worked for Peace Power building steel towers. In November, 1967 their son David was born. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Laurence happened to be out of town when David was arrived.

The family then moved to Andrew Bay, B.C. so that Laurence could be home each night with his family. This is where he taught his love of hunting, fishing and outdoor enthusiasm to his children. During this time, Laurence worked at Eurocan Pulp and Paper as a foreman. After 3 years of living with no phones or electricity, the family moved into Burns Lake, B.C. where his wife and son, David, still call home.

Lawrence had an infectious love towards sports and the outdoors. He loved watching his boys play hockey and his daughter ride horses. Amongst many activities throughout the years, he took his kids fishing, hunting and taught them how to curl, play darts, cards bowl, and golf.

His desire to learn and gain knowledge never ceased. In the 90’s Laurence and his son, Dennis, attended 3 courses in Austin, Texas to become certified to build custom golf clubs. Laurence also attended school in Columbus Ohio to advance his skills. Soon after his designation he started his own business and donated a lot of time and money to the sport. This included the Legion Golf Tournament, Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament as well as many senior events. He got to meet people like Payne Sterwart, and Joe Watson, (He and Joe Watson won the Smithers Tournament) and he continued to play and support golf as late as this past summer. A recent quest for knowledge, Laurence starting taking guitar lessons; his granddaughter Kaja could verify her grandfather’s interest in the new hobby because he dragged her along with him. He enjoyed people and socializing so much that he even gave his time to the seniors (not that he was one) to join them for lunch and play cards at the legion for many years. He served the Legion proudly in many different facets. His wish was to have his service held at the Legion which we will honor this spring, April 21, 2012. He enjoyed building and helped his son, David, build the house he currently lives in. Last summer he helped with the latest addition to the house where he taught Shiloh (the dog) how to climb a ladder.

Laurence loved watching his granddaughter Kaja, play hockey and was very proud that she wore her Uncle Dennis’s Burns Lake Braves hockey number 21. He registered Kaja in curling and they were in several bonspiels together. His infectious love for the sport of golf has been equally enjoyed by his family; Dennis, Monica, David, Larry, Pam, Kyle and Kaja, who all play the sport he was so fond of.

Laurence enjoyed puttering around with such things as gardening, fixing up old lawn mowers (if there was one at the dump, he would bring it home, fix it up and sell it or give to someone that needed one), welding anything that needed to be welded (or even if it didn’t), fixing old junker cars, or any tinkering to keep himself busy.

Laurence was a wonderful grandfather. He enjoyed his 7 grandkids to the fullest. Pamela, Raelene, Kyle, Katelyn, Aleece, Hilary and Kaja. Each of them held a special place in his heart. The best times were on Christmas holidays when the family would gather and Laurence would have the snowmobiles and inner tubes ready to go. The grandkids would snowmobile till all trees were mowed down and the snow was packed. He loved it. Laurence has also been blessed with 2 great grand daughters.

It was just this past year that Laurence learnt that he had 3 half sisters Jeannie, Edith Deanna and a brother John.

His health problems started in the late 70’s. Although his family was called upon 7 different times during the next several years to say their goodbyes, it wasn’t until January 14, 2012 that these goodbyes would be final. He fought a hard battle and many would think that his quality of life was poor but Laurence proved that life is what you make it, and Laurence loved his life.


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