Floral 24

Kelly Jo Hestbeck

December 6, 1963 ~ May 22, 2022 (age 58)


Kelly Jo Hestbeck, 59, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 22, 2022, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley, at SMP Health, St. Catherine South in Fargo, ND.

Kelly Jo Hestbeck born December 6th, 1963 daughter to Richard “Bud” and Betty Lou Hestbeck, lived a very complete life on her own terms. With the help of foster families, HIT, Inc. in Bismarck, ND and nursing care facilities in Fargo, ND, Kelly Jo was able to spread her joyfulness to many around her. Kelly Jo defied expectations and blessed the world with her laughter, smiles, and fierce competitive spirit for 59 years. She will be well remembered for her authenticity, feistiness, kindness, and humor. Small in stature, but mighty in spirit, her departure leaves a huge void in our world and her family she inhabited. She brightened the lives of those around her, and her obituary is offered here in that fashion.

Kelly Jo lived in Grandin, ND with her parents, Richard “Bud” and Betty Lou (Andersen) Hestbeck, until her mother’s passing in 1969. After which she lived in the Grafton State School in Grafton, ND until January of 1974. Following that she was loved by special foster families in the Bismarck area for many years, including Harlow and Diana Bales from 1987-2012 along with her roommate Dawn. She graduated from Bismarck High School in 1989. Kelly Jo moved into the care of HIT, Inc. (2012-2016), while living independently with the help of care givers and Tassie, a special friend and roommate. During her HIT, Inc. time she worked at American Inn & Best Value Suites until her retirement in 2018.  Kelly Jo moved to Elim Nursing home in Fargo, ND to be closer to family in May 2019.

Kelly Jo won dozens of bocci medals at Special Olympics events displaying skill, courage, sharing, and joy of which the medal stands for. She enjoyed life to the fullest. She had a true love for playing board games especially “UNO” and “Go Fish”, along with any and all Disney movies. At any given time, you would find her with her nails painted, preferably pink or purple in color, and always with her colorful jewelry on. Kelly Jo was someone who taught us many life lessons: she grounded us, reminded us of what was important in life-family, to enjoy the little things in life, and to slow down and stop to smell the flowers. She will be truly missed by her friends and family, of which she made their world a better place.

Kelly Jo is survived by her brother, Scott “Ricky” Hestbeck of Fargo, stepsisters Linda, Jan, and Kari Erickson all West Fargo, ND, stepmother Darlene Hestbeck of West Fargo, her guardian Jody Bohn Baldock (Jeff Baldock) of Grand Forks, ND and many other family members that loved her dearly. She is preceded in death by her parents Richard “Bud” and Betty Lou Hestbeck.

The family of Kelly Jo Hestbeck would like to extend a thank you to the St. Catherine’s staff for their life-long commitment to Kelly Jo and her care. Words cannot express the peace and comfort provided by them, as well as the kind and loving people of the Hospice of the Red River Valley. Donations in Kelly Jo’s name will be gratefully accepted by the Special Olympics of North Dakota.

Please join us for a celebration of Kelly’s life at the Lynn Elton Cemetery in Hillsboro, ND.


Graveside service:  Thursday, July 21, 2022, 5:00 pm, Lynn Elton Cemetery, Hillsboro, ND.


West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center



West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center


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Memorial Tree
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Celebration of Life Service
July 21, 2022

5:00 PM
Lynn Elton Cemetery
North End of Town
Hillsboro, ND 58045


Special Olympics North Dakota
2616 S. 26th St, Grand Forks ND 58201
Tel: 1-701-746-0331
Web: https://specialolympicsnd.org

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