BIO Index

Sue Kestly


In the fall of 61, I went off to Gator Country, the University of Florida. Bobby Sue Wallace was my roommate for the first semester. She did more partying than studying, and dropped out near the end of the semester. She came back to school the following year, but we were in different dorms, and had different friends, so didn't see her much . I hung out with Mel Walter all through college. Since we were both Catholic, we hung out at the Catholic Student Center. One of the people there was a fellow Sarasotan, Dave Nemetz, class of '57. He went into the Navy right out of high school, and went to college when he got out, so he was a little older than the rest of us.

Three things of importance happened in 1966: Dave and I got married, He got a job with IBM in Huntsville Alabama working on programming for Apollo, and we bought a small board boat like a Sunfish. When we were visiting Dave's Folks, we passed a nice little display of them at the the waterfront, and bought one from a guy whose last name was Cash (related to Jimmy?). We did a lot of day sailing and racing on that boat and a 21' "Holiday" for the next several years. Even after the first two children came along, we would take a baby sitter along, and race. Dave still races, but I'm not as limber as I once was, so I just day sail occasionally. That original boat is now a fixture in our backyard, sans sail, mast, trailor, and rigging. The grandkids like to play "pirate" on it.

Huntsville was a very exciting place to be in those early years of the space race. Almost all of our neighbors and friends were involved with space, and the ground would rumble when the rockets were tested. I taught math and science briefly, in a Jr. High before the children were born. We had Natalie in '69, Leslie in '71, Eric in '75, Miriam in '77, Davy in '80, and Heather in '84. I was fortunate that I was able to stay home when they were small, which was all through the 70s and 80s.

In 1985, IBM got out of the space business in Huntsville, so we transferred to Raleigh, NC, Where we've been ever since. Dave went from programming rockets to "Store Systems," which we called "bean counting" When Heather went to school, I went back to work. I first taught Biology in high school, but had problems with discipline. Then I worked three years as a carrier for the Post Office. Finally I worked grading standardized written exams. That was seasonal work, so I still had time off to be with the kids during the summers. I worked there until my eyes gave out. Couldn't figure out why they kept the room so dark, and my eyes would burn at the end of the day. Turned out I had cataracts. I've since had eye surgery to correct it, and now see better than I have for years.

Dave and I are both retired now, and we both have long lists of things to do on the house, which we work on slowly. Two of our kids live in town, and 3 others live 2 or 3 hours drive away, so we see them often. Our oldest was in high school when we moved, and her heart was still in Alabama. She went back there for college, married there, and still lives ther. Strangely enough (or not so strangely) all of our children went into math or science. We have two chemists, two CPAs, a nurse, and a physicist with the nuclear plant.

The picture I'm sending is of the whole family, the last time we were all together, 3 years ago. Left to right,front row: Trevor Mastro,Leslie Reed holding Wil and Zackary Reed, Daniel Reed, Todd Mastro, Jan Reed (Leslie's mother in law) Second row: Dave (in blue) Luke Mastro, me (in green) Rebbecca Nemetz (Eric's wife) Gabriele Mastro, Natalie Mastro, Gwen Nemetz holding Audralynn Nemetz, Heather Nemetz with boyfriend Justin. Back row: Jonathon Reed, Eric Nemetz, Joseph Waters, Adam Reed, Miriam Waters, Davy Nemetz. Since that picture was taken, two more grandsons were born: Isaac Nemetz, and Ian Waters. Heather dumped Justin and has a new boyfriend, Tate.

Sue Kestly Nemetz