The Kesters of Clearwater

Family, faith, friendship, fortitude. Combine all of those things and mix in some good, solid hard work, and you have the Kester family of Clearwater, NE. They define all these traits, and Nebraska itself.

Lucille and Harold Kester started their life together over 70 years ago. Neither suspected the history they would create.

Their family tree reads like a chapter of Genesis. Together they raised 11 children, who then raised 45 grandchildren, who are now raising over 105 great grandchildren, and counting.

Brothers farm together.

Cousins and uncles share birthdays.

In the town of Clearwater, NE - where the Kesters are from - various members of the family contribute to different parts of town life. 

Downtown Clearwater, NE, as seen from above.

Son Bill is senior vice president of the local bank. 

Grandson Dana owns the feed store. 

Granddaughter Tammy and her husband Jarod are local accountants. 

The brothers helped build each others' houses. 

Their father Harold was instrumental in raising funds to build the church they and their extended family attend every Sunday.

There are nurses and mechanics; teachers and students; farmers and housewives.

When the Kesters have a reunion - as they do every spring - their family is larger than 44% of the cities and towns in the state of Nebraska.

For as large as the family is, they are amazingly close. They, of course, have their fights and disagreements from time to time - as all families do - but at the end of each day, family and faith reign supreme.

Video: Lucille Kester, Matriarch