Cari Ann Allen (Kesterson)

Cari Ann Allen (Kesterson), a devoted mother and caregiver, was killed on November 19, 2022, at the age of 43 in Omaha.

Cari is survived by her parents; son, Brennan Allen; sister, Ami Kesterson-Ladwig; and many nieces and nephews, aunts, and uncles. She is predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Byrl and Phyllis Elliott, and paternal grandparents, Floyd and Connie Kesterson.

Cari was born in Cherokee, IA, on February 27, 1979, to Ronald and Julie Kesterson. She graduated from Denison High School in 1997. After graduating high school, Cari earned her associate’s degree from Iowa Western Community College in 1999 and then her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Human Services from Buena Vista University in 2001.

During college, Cari started working at REM Iowa, where she would find her calling in life to serve individuals with special needs who were unable to care for and advocate for themselves. In 2003, Cari, while working for VODEC, helped open and run the ELM program for 11 years. Always wanting to challenge herself Cari enrolled at the University of Phoenix and obtained her MBA in 2012. Cari continued to care for those with special needs by serving as an Extended Family Home provider for individuals up until her death.

Cari was united in marriage to Brett Allen in Omaha, NE, on July 24, 2004. On July 10, 2007, Cari gave birth to her son, Brennan Allen. Cari’s entire world revolved around her son. There was nothing more she enjoyed doing in life than spending time with Brennan. Cari would never miss an event or activity that Brennan was in. Always the planner, she would look at her schedule months in advance to make sure that she could rearrange anything that would be preventing her from being there for Brennan. Without a doubt, though, her favorite times were the vacations that she was able to take with Brennan. Whether it was zip-lining in Costa Rica, driving ATVs in the Dominican Republic, or hand-feeding alligators in Florida, Cari loved each and every moment with her son.

Memorial Service: Thursday, January 26th, 11AM at West Center Chapel, with visitation starting at 9:30AM.

Memorials may be directed to the family.


  • Jackie Lohrke Posted January 17, 2023 5:05 pm

    Amanda, so very sorry for your families unimaginable loss. My heart goes out to each of you.

  • Darla Slater-Vander Weil Posted January 18, 2023 8:20 pm

    Ami, you and your family are in my prayers. God be with you at this time and always.

  • Vi Tilk Posted January 19, 2023 12:12 pm

    We are very sorry for this tragedy . Our prayers are with all the family.

  • Noel Dubsky Posted January 19, 2023 2:58 pm

    Kesterson family / so very sorry for your loss. Noel (Carter) Dubsky .My prayers are with you during this time.

  • April Leeper Posted January 20, 2023 12:30 pm

    Julie, Ami, and family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you every day.

  • Ida Bryant Posted January 25, 2023 4:26 pm

    So sorry for your loss you are in my thoughts and prayers.We will miss here I have lots of fun memories of her from the first day I met her she made me dance at her wedding, and when she first brought you a visit Elm the consumers held you.. we are on loan from God and when he calls our name down here there’s something that he has for us to do up in Heaven we Loved her but God Loved her best Brennan know that she will always be watching over You and walking with you at all times.There is a saying in the south when a person is born we cry cause they are coming into a cruel world and when we die it’s a homecoming and they are at Peace no pain or worried God Bless You and Love you ❤️❣️❤️

  • Rhonda Underwood Posted January 26, 2023 6:53 am

    I didn’t know Cari personally, but followed the news. I’m sorry for your loss and can’t imagine every emotion you’re each experiencing. She was a beautiful lady and her heart was huge and golden. Prayer’s for each of you ((Hugs)).

  • Jim McSweeny Posted January 26, 2023 7:25 am

    Sorry for your loss, we can all pray someone in Prison shanks and kills Aldrick Scott, he is guilty and needs swift justice by other inmates.

  • LARRY McLAREN Posted January 26, 2023 9:00 am

    Rest In Peace Lady. God Has A Way For Swift Justice.

  • Mandy Patek Posted January 26, 2023 10:09 am

    I did not know Cari, but reading what those who did have said about her, I can tell she was a very loved mother, friend and co-worker to many! I live in Topeka and have followed her story from the very beginning, When news broke of where she was found, I immediately became sick to my stomach as I drive past that place nearly everyday. My heart breaks for her son , family and friends. Now, every time I drive past where she was found, I say a little prayer in her name. Though her time on Earth was cut short by tragedy, may she continue to live on in the memories of those that had the privilege of knowing her!

  • Kimberly Frost Posted January 26, 2023 10:17 am

    Prayers to family, and especially to her son during this time..My heart breaks for you..It’s a shame that he did this to your mither..God bless

  • Nick Holstein Posted January 26, 2023 12:01 pm

    So many prayers to the family and friends of Cari.

  • Teri Gibbs Posted January 26, 2023 3:13 pm

    I don’t personally know Cari but I’ve followed this story since the beginning as I am from Omaha and currently live here in Topeka prayers for her Son and family may she rest in heaven

  • Jennifer Banaka Posted January 26, 2023 9:53 pm

    Sending prayers to the Allen and Kesterson families. May a special angel watch over you . God will handle it and evil shall not prevail.

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