Laura Ellen Moulton Kestle, 89, passed away on Sunday, January 12th, 2020. She was born on July 24th, 1930 in Parker City, Indiana, the youngest of Charles Clifton Moulton and Flossie G. Moulton’s children, Robert, Miriam, Leona, Howard, Jean Maxine, Charles Jr and Eva Emogene.
She graduated in 1947 from Parker High School and attended Ball State University in Muncie where, in her freshman year, met her future husband, her music teacher, Victor Kestle. After a brief courtship, they married on Laura’s 18th birthday.
After son James Charles was born in 1950, they moved to Baltimore where Vic had accepted a teaching position at Forest Park High School. Mary Anne was born in 1952.
Laura went back to school while her children were in elementary school and received her teaching degree from Towson State. After graduation, she began a 26 year career in Special Education, earning her Master’s degree from Loyola College along the way.
Although she loved teaching, her greatest passion in life was painting, portraiture being a specialty, but landscapes and still life subjects in various media, oils, watercolors, pastels, chalk and pencil were also in her collection. So many, in fact, it was a family joke that Haussner’s had nothing on her!
She loved to travel, whether camping in the National Parks or touring the museums and cathedrals of Europe. A favorite destination was England, where she was able to research the family trees of the Moulton and Kestle families.
After Vic’s and Laura’s retirements, they moved to the Charlestown Retirement Community, where Laura lived for 26 years. Vic passed away in 1996.
For a time, Laura was a writer for the Charlestown newspaper, interviewing residents about their lives allowing her to use her creative writing skills to present human interest stories to the community. She also loved to watch the Orioles and the University of Maryland Men’s Basketball team; in fact any college basketball – she was a “Hoosier” after all!
In 1997, Laura married James Pearl, a graphic designer and watercolor artist. Pen and ink drawings were also a specialty. Laura and Jim traveled to Alaska, cruised through the Panama Canal, flew to England and sailed back into New York Harbor on the QE2, being greeted by the Statue of Liberty, a bucket list highlight. Jim passed away in 2002.
Laura is survived by her son, Jim and his wife, Rosemary; Mary Anne and her husband, Ted; grandsons Damien and Michael and two great-grandchildren, Leo and Ashley.
A Memorial Service will be held on January 30th at 11:00 AM at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at the Charlestown Retirement Community. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Laura’s memory to the Benevolent Care Fund, 719 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville, MD, 21228.
Laura’s family wishes to thank the nurses and aides at the Charlestown Care Center along with Gilchrist Hospice Care for their dedication and loving attention
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