John Kenneth "Coach Mr. K" Kesterson

  • Born: November 11, 1927
  • Died: July 25, 2014
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center Market Street

635 E. Market St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Tel. (317) 387-7000

Tribute & Message From The Family

John Kenneth "Coach K" Kesterson, 86, of Indianapolis passed away on July 25, 2014. He was born in Indianapolis on Nov. 11th, 1927, to the late James "Pete" and Florence (née Graf) Kesterson. He graduated from St. Roch Catholic Grade School in 1941 and Southport High School in 1945. The day after high school graduation, he enlisted in United States Marine Corps, serving honorably from 1945-1948. As a light infantry Marine attached to the 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines, John was one of the first troops ashore to occupy Japan at the end of World War II. He was also the kicker for the USMC football team, playing in the 1946 "Atom Bowl" in Nagasaki with Angelo Bertelli and Bill Osmanski. Honorably discharged, he returned home and fell in love with Rita A. Raftery, marrying the love of his life in 1950. Together John and Rita lovingly raised 10 children, spending most of their lives on the southside of Indianapolis. They were charter members of St. Jude Catholic Church and owners of Keystone T.V. and Appliances. For over 60 years John spent much of his free time coaching various baseball, kickball, softball, and volleyball teams to numerous championships for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Peace Games, and several High Schools; finishing with Cathedral High School Volleyball in 2014. For his volunteer efforts he was awarded the CYO Monsignor Busald Award in 1975, the CYO St. John Bosco Medal in 1982, the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association (ICGSA) 30 Year Service Award in 2002, the Cathedral High School Distinguished Service Award in 2010, and the College Mentor for Kids Inspire Award for Athletics in 2010. John is preceded in death by his loving wife Rita, brothers Stewart and Vernon, infant sisters Eline and "Baby", and grandchild Jonathan Holbrook. He is survived by his sister Sr. James Michael "Mildred" Kesterson, SP, his 10 children: Helen (Beth) Kesterson-Yates; Kathleen (Dan) Morrison; Jean Kesterson; Therese (Lawrence) Holbrook; Rita (Joseph) Maguire; Joyce (Stephen) Burke; Patricia (Charles) Souhrada; Karen Kesterson-Bueno; John W. (Ann) Kesterson; Mary (Jamey) Smith; 23 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. Visitations will be at St. Jude Catholic Church, 5353 McFarland Rd. on Monday July 28th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM and Tuesday July 29th at 10:00 AM, immediately followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods ( or the Cathedral High School Volleyball team ( Arrangements were entrusted to Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center – Market Street.

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