Leora Jester Obituary

Leora M. Jester
Leora Jester
Leora M. Jester

August 7, 1903 - May 26, 2009
Born in Eddyville, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


Leora McSweyn Jester, born in Eddyville, Iowa on August 7, 1903, died at home in Des Moines on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. She was the widow of Ralph Jester. She was the daughter of Donald and Martha McSweyn and the sister of the late Flora Pearsall.

Mrs. Jester attended Des Moines University and graduated in 1925. From there she began a high school teaching career in Iowa and Illinois and returned to Des Moines in 1943. There she began a second career in the banking business with the Iowa Savings and Loan. In 1966 she rose to the position of President and remained there until her retirement in 1973. She remained on the Board of Directors until 1978.

In 1966, she married Ralph Jester with whom she enjoyed a happy life until his death at the age of 90 in 1993.

In her retired life she continued her love of gardening and was noted for her tomatoes that she shared with her neighbors. Even at the age of 100 she would go out and pull weeds. One of her other interests was bowling. She won the triple title at the State Championships several times in her nineties.

Mrs. Jester most wanted to be remembered for the good things she did in both her professional career and in her personal life. These were evidenced by the many times former clients of the bank would come to see her and thank her for getting them started in their own homes. She had a stair elevator in her home and many of the young children from the neighborhood would come over to get a ride up and down the stairs.

Mrs. Jester was one of 40 first cousins; just one of those cousins is still living, Helen Jones aged 94 of Eden Prairie, MN.

Mrs. Jester was the beloved aunt of, Martha Pearsall of El Sobrante, CA, Mary Stone and her husband Charles of San Mateo, CA, and Donald Pearsall and his wife Gail of Feura Bush, NY. She was the beloved stepmother of Mary Lou Hunter of Oak Park, IL, Anna Belle Sillars and her husband Jim of Des Moines and Joseph Jester and his wife Peggy of Urbandale. She was the beloved grandmother of several grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was the beloved great aunt of three and great great aunt of five.

There will a private graveside ceremony at Glendale Cemetery on Saturday, May 30. In lieu of flowers, give gifts to your favorite charity or the Grace United Methodist Church of Des Moines in her name.