“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go. The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow, for I will be with thee thy troubles to bless. And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress. Do not weep, do not wail. Remember the love I left you as well.”
Mr. Kenneth Wesley Tester, age 83, Jonesborough, passed away Thursday, January 3, 2013, at the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center after a lengthy illness.
He was born in “Hoot Owl Holler” in Carter County, TN, on February 9, 1929, to the late Stacy Radford & Mamie Geneva Watson Tester. In addition to his parents, Mr. Tester was also preceded in death by his wife, Mrs. Helen B. Woodruff Tester; one son, Kenneth “Dockie” Tester II; one daughter, Anita “LuLu” Ball; his maternal grandparents, William Brownlow & Rhoda Ann Whisenhunt-Watson; and his paternal grandparents, Thomas & Pearl Benfield Tester.
Mr. Tester graduated in 1946 from Happy Valley High School as Valedictorian. He served as machinists apprentice at North American Rayon, was a teaching instructor for Johnson City Vocational School, Kennametal, Inc. and American Bic Tech in Erwin, where he was plant manager.
He served in the United States Army, during the Korean War, in Germany with the “C” (Charlie) Battery, 29th field artillery, 8th Infantry Reg., 4th Inf. Division, K.A. (Old Ivy), His M.O.S. was fire direction computer operator to pinpoint targets and direct artillery fire.
He served his comrades in civilian life as a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Jonesborough Memorial Post 9724. He was past commander having served five terms; he also was an officer in the 1st district for the State of Tennessee, as well as Aide De-Camp for the National Commander of the VFW. He belonged to several other fraternal organizations as well as doing chartible work for 30+ years for the Cerebral Palsy victims. He loved doing for others; his life was spent for family, friends, fellow workers and comrades in the Army.
Mr. Tester enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves and U.T. Lady Vols, whom he called “his girls.” He was an avid sportsman and coached several athletic teams.
Survivors include son, John H. Banks and wife, Ginger, Johnson City; son, William “Bill” Tester, of the home; one brother, Jack E. Tester and wife, Betty, Johnson City; five grandchildren, Kim Dawson, Johnson City, Kimberly Dawn Buchanan-Watson, of the home, Ginny Abraham, Johnson City, Lucy “Jaime” Tester, Kingsport, John D. Banks, Johnson City; two great-grandsons, Logan and Seth; two great-granddaughters, Haley and Hannah; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be conducted at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, January 6, 2013, at Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home.
The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 pm Sunday prior to the service.
Interment services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 7, 2013, at Roselawn Memory Gardens. Pallbearers will be James “Peanut” Clay, Calvin “Jasper” Clay, Steven Clay, Joe Clay, Jeff Bell, Bill Combs and Ralph Miller. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Denise Sibley, Dr. Collier Jordan, Dr. Ahmed Khan, Dr. Stephanie Powell and Dr. Joe Wallen.
Condolences may be sent to the Tester family online at www.dillow-taylor.com.
Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Jonesborough, 753-3821