Died Jan. 3, 1999.
Wayne Otho Kester was born in 1906 at Cambridge, Neb. He graduated from the Cambridge high School in 1925. He attended the Nebraska State Teachers' College at Chadron, Neb., for his pre-veterinary work and graduated with the degree of doctor of veterinary medicine from Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kan., in 1931. He was on the dean's scholastic honor roll at both schools.
After two years of general practice in Kansas and Ohio, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Regular Army Veterinary Corps in July 1933. He served the balance of that year as West Virginia district veterinarian for the Civilian Conservation Corps with headquarters at Elkins, W.Va. He was assigned to the Army Medical Field Service School at Carlisle Barracks in January 1934 and graduated from that school in June. Reporting to Fort Bliss, Texas, in August 1934 he served with the First Cavalry Division for three years, first as commanding officer of the First Veterinary Troop, subsequently as commanding officer of the veterinary station hospital and as regimental veterinarian for the Seventh and Eighth Cavalry regiments.
In June l937 he was reassigned to the Army Medical School at Walter Reed General Hospital, where he graduated from the Army Veterinary School. In January l938 he reported to the Seattle, Quartermaster Depot, Seattle, Wash., where he served as port and depot veterinarian until December 1939, at which time he was reassigned to the Hawaiian Islands where he served as port and depot veterinarian until the outbreak of the war, Dec. 7, l94l. He was at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack.
During the war he served as chief veterinarian, U.S. Forces Pacific Ocean Areas. He simultaneously served as staff adviser to the military governor and later governor of Hawaii for which he received special commendation from the governor.
At the end of the war he was ordered to Washington, D.C., for duty in the Office of the Surgeon General, as chief of the Meat and Dairy Hygiene Branch directing the worldwide Army veterinary food inspection service.
In July 1949 he was transferred to the Air Force and assigned to the Office of the Surgeon General as director of the newly established Air Force Veterinary Service, a position he still holds as of this date.
He was awarded the Legion of Merit and Army Commendation Medal for wartime service in the Pacific. He also wears the American Defense Medal with foreign service clasp, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with battle clasp, and the Victory Medal.
He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Public Health Association, Association of Military Surgeons, U.S. Livestock Sanitary Association, American Horse Shows Association, as well as several state professional associations and bodies. He is the author of numerous articles published in various professional and technical magazines.