Raymond C. Kestner

Raymond  Kestner
  • BS Civil Engineering 1955

Raymond C. Kestner, (retired) City Manager/Director Public Works of Houghton, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech with a baccalaureate degree in civil engineering in 1955. At Michigan Tech he was a member of the ASCE student chapter, Vice President of the Varsity Club, a member of Kappa Delta Psi, and was a four-year letter winner in varsity hockey. Following graduation he spent two years overseas in the Navy Seabees. After returning to civilian life he spent five years as a Paving and Quality Control Engineer on the K.I. Sawyer and Kincheloe Air Force Bases.

He then went on to form the Michigan Testing & Drilling Company of Detroit, Michigan along with two partners. During the next eleven years, Michigan Testing & Drilling became a nationally recognized firm and is listed on the Engineering News Record 500. In 1971, Ray returned to Houghton where he served as the City Manager and Director of Public Works through 1997.

Ray received the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce "Person of the Year" Award in 1982, was selected as the Copper Country "Man of the Year" by the Chamber of Commerce in 1984, received the Michigan Tech Distinguished Service Award in 1988, and the Rotary Community Service Award in 1989.

He is credited as being the visionary responsible for the revitalization of Houghton which resulted in the city receiving the Community of Excellence Award from the State of Michigan for 1987-1989 and 1991. In 1989 he gave a presentation in Washington D.C. describing Houghton's shoreline development at the Waterfront Development Conference sponsored by the National League of Cities. He has also served as the Co-Chairman of Michigan Tech's Century II Campaign, Copper Country Phase. He and his wife, Janet, reside in Houghton and have seven children, all of whom are Michigan Tech graduates.

From 1997 Induction to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Academy