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Martha D. Kesti

Martha D. Kesti

Martha D. Kesti, 91, died unexpectedly at her home on Chub Lake near Carlton, Minn., on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. She lived every moment of her life to the fullest, and was ready to go home to meet her precious Savior. Martha was born on Jan. 25, 1923, in her parents warm sauna. She was the last of Fred and Kaisa Koskis eight children. Martha attended college in Duluth, Minn., and taught in several small rural schools before settling in Esko, Minn. While there, she met Benhard Wm. Kesti, son of Hans and Ida Kesti, whom she married on March 1, 1952. The Kestis purchased a farm in Halden Township where they remained for 13 years. While living there, Martha continued to teach school and bore two children, Joyce and Marvin. In 1965, Ben and Martha moved their family to Cloquet, Minn., where Martha taught at Leach and Washington elementary schools. Martha retired from teaching in 1979, and then Ben and Martha built their home on Chub Lake. During her 34 years of retirement, Martha savored time with family and dear friends -- from senior bowling, quilting group, Bible study, and her other many activities. She also continued to be an avid learner and tried new pursuits: painting, playing the organ, learning to use the computer, traveling (international and domestic), cross country skiing, and more.

Martha was a member of St. Pauls Lutheran Church, Alpha Delta Kappa, and Senior Bowling League.

Survivors include her children, Marvin (June) Kesti of Red Wing, Minn., and Joyce (Al) Iwasko of Waynesville, Ohio; grandchildren, Michael (Amy) Kesti of Edina, Minn., Ryan Kesti and Katie Kesti of Red Wing, Kristin (Don) Raack of Oak Park, Ill., Jessica (Terence) Hunt of Springboro, Ohio, and AJ Iwasko of Raleigh, N.C.; great-grandchildren, Elise Raack, age 5, Carsten Raack, 2, and Evan Hunt, 1; sisters, Helmi Swanson-Savage of Milaca, Minn., and Esther Fisk of Gig Harbor, Wash. Martha is also survived by cherished sister-in-law, Martha Kesti of Carlton, as well as numerous beloved nieces and nephews around the country.

Martha was preceded in death by her dear husband of 39 years, Benhard Wm. Kesti in November 1991; brothers, Sanfred, August and Swandi Koski; and sisters, Jennie Williams and Bertha Presthang.

Visitation: Tuesday, July 15, from 5-7:00 p.m. in Atkins-Northland Funeral Home, Cloquet, and Wednesday, July 16, from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service in St. Pauls Lutheran Church, Cloquet, with burial at Hillside Cemetery, Carlton, following the luncheon.

Memorials may be made to St. Pauls Lutheran Church, Cloquet Educational Foundation, and the American Cancer Society or the giver's choice.

To sign the guest book and offer an online tribute see,

July 17, 2014 ~ Pine Journal, Cloquet, Minn.