Grand Marshals


2019's Orchard Days parade Grand Marshals were Helen and Clement "Jake" Kester

Grand Marshall

Jake is a native of Santaquin.  His early education was in Santaquin and Payson. He went to college at the University of Utah and received a degree in Metallurgical Engineering.  While there, he entered the ROTC program and served in the Army for 6 years attaining the rank of Captain.

During his military service, he was stationed in Germany where he met and married Helen.  Helen was working as a Dept. of the Army recreation director. She is from NYC (Queens) and has a double degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Queens College, City university of New York.

Upon returning to the U.S. Jake wanted to settle in Santaquin and Helen, who had always loved horses and could never have one in NYC, had no objections.  They moved here together in 1968.

Jake went to work as a metallurgist for Kennecott Copper at the Burgin mine in Eureka and worked there until 1970 when his father passed away.  He then took over the family-owned business, the Santaquin Calcite Co., which was founded by his dad in 1937. He and Helen ran the company until their retirement in 2006.  They belonged to the Santaquin Chamber of Commerce from its inception until the sale of the business. He sold it to his brother, thus the company is still in the family.

Helen started Santaquin's first Girl Scout Troop in 1969 and was its leader until 1975.  She served a term on Santaquin's first Zoning and Planning Commission. She raised Basset Hounds and finished 7 AKC Champions before retiring from showing in 1987.  She joined the American Legion Auxiliary in 1972, served as president for 6 years in the 1990's, and remains active today. She sings the "Military Medley" songs each year at the Legion's Memorial Day and the Auxiliary's Veteran's Day Programs. She won the "Name the Main Street Park" contest held by the city. "Squashhead Park" was the name she submitted after much research, as she was a New Yorker.

Jake Served a 4 year term on the Santaquin City Council under Mayor O. Doyle Crook.  He was chairman of the Flood Control committee during the flood of 1983 and high waters of 1984, coordinating the activities to save the city and surrounding areas from the flood waters.  He has been an active member of the American Legion in Santaquin since 1968 and has served as Commander for 10 years as well as Adjutant for another 10.  He is presently serving as a board member on the Santaquin Chieftain Museum Board.

Over the years their yard has won both the Green Thumb award sponsored by the Payson Chronicle and the Grand Prize in the Santaquin City Christmas Lights contest.  The Kesters have also won awards for their fruits and vegetables as well as "Best Family Garden" at both Utah State and County Fairs and numerous "Best In Show" awards at the Payson Onion Day's Flower Show.

The Kesters have been married for 53 years, have 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren.


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