Kester Wayne "Keck" Akers, 88, passed away Friday January 27, at the Niobrara Community Hospital, in Lusk, Wyoming. Memorial Services will be held at the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, in Lusk, on Friday February 3 at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Darren Pflughoeft officiating. Cremation has been completed, and inurnment with military honors will occur at a later date.
Kester was born July 21, 1928 in Edgemont, South Dakota, to Kester Lee and Ella Ophelia (Smith) Akers. As a young child he lived on a family ranch in the Cheyenne River area in northeastern Niobrara County. As a 4th grader he moved to Lusk with his grandparents. He completed his education in the Lusk public school system and graduated from Lusk High School in 1947. While in high school, he was very active in football, basketball, baseball, choir, band, student council, and class plays.
On July 21, 1950, he married Vivian Helen Klemke, in Lusk. The couple lived and raised their family in Lusk.
In November 1951, Kester enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a member of the Sea Bee Construction Battalion. He served in the South Pacific and then he finished his service career in Kodiak, Alaska. He was discharged from the Navy in November 1955 and returned to Lusk.
He worked in several areas, from being a lineman with the telephone company, to a lineman with the Niobrara Electric Association, to becoming a master electrician in 1960, to the maintenance foreman at the Lusk Hospital, and finally an electrical foreman for the City of Lusk. During this time, he was also a member of the Lusk Volunteer Fire Department, Lusk Ambulance Service, and was the Emergency Management Coordinator for Niobrara County.
Other activities included officiating football, basketball, baseball, and wrestling for over 43 years. Kester was inducted to the Wyoming High School Activities Association Hall of Fame. He also coached wrestling, little league baseball, and girls softball.
Clubs and organizations included Lusk Lion's Club, Senior Citizen's Center Board of Directors, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was an active member of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Leisure activities included cheering for the Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, and University of Wyoming. He also spent many hours playing pinochle with family and friends.
Survivors include his wife of 66+ years, Vivian of Lusk; son Rob and wife Joanna from Newcastle; daughter Deb Torbert, husband Todd and family of Billings, Montana; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; brother Robert Fisher; and family from Arizona, Utah, and Washington.
The family suggests memorials to Niobrara Community, Niobrara County Senior Center, or St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Kester will be sorely missed by the community. Everyone was a friend, no one was a stranger to him. And in closing, remember it takes a large amount of water to fill a TUBA.
Pier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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