ArDell J. “Mickey” Kester


ArDell J. “Mickey” Kester went home to be with her Heavenly Father after a brief illness on April 29, 2021.

Mickey was born in South Bend, IN, on March 3, 1929.

She became a world traveler as a devoted Army wife to her beloved husband of 57 years, SFC Delnar Paul Kester retired, who preceded her in death on March 20, 2016. They were married for 57 years.  Mickey and Paul made the Carrollton area their home upon retirement.

Mickey was a domestic engineer devoted to the health and well-being of her family. But don’t let that fool you because Mickey was a pioneer for women’s rights.  She was a divorced single mother in the 1950’s, she single-handedly owned and operated a Union 76 full-service gas station while her husband Paul was deployed overseas during the gas crisis of the 1970’s, and it was her personal mission for her children to know how to drive and financially support themselves.

Spending time gardening and fishing were lifelong favorite activities for Mickey. She was feisty about her Pittsburg Steelers and shopping with her was an adventure. The best thing about Mickey was that she was the best friend you will ever have.

Mickey leaves behind her children, Linda Kester of Johnson City, TX, Lisa Kester (Bill Noble) of Carrollton, Ohio, and Paul Kester of Fairview Heights, IL; daughter in law, Robin Gilliland of Mishawaka, IN; six grandchildren, John Seaburn, Christian Aguirre, Shaun Seaburn (Tinah Seaburn), Maryn Kester, Grace Kester, and Hannah Kester; four great-grandchildren, Riley Aguirre, Layton Aguirre, Colton Seaburn, and Nevaeh Seaburn; her brothers, Harry and David Mathes of Mishawaka, IN; her sister, Mary Mathes of South Bend, IN, and many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Mickey was also preceded in death by her son, Stephen Grey Gilliland; her parents, Chauncey and Helen Mathes; brothers, Joe and Al Mathes; her aunt and namesake, ArDell Salomon.

The family would like to thank Crossroads Hospice for their dedicated care of our beloved mother.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Mickey’s memory to Crossroads Hospice.

Funeral services for Mickey will be Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Dodds Funeral Home in Carrollton. Visitation will be Friday from 5-7 p.m. in the funeral home.