Aaron Banks Lester, age 87 years, a resident of Hambleton, WV departed this life Monday afternoon, January 29, 2024, at Buckhannon, WV.
He was born Tuesday, September 29, 1936, at Summit, GA, a son of the late Howard Palmer Lester and Mildred Avis Grimes Lester Dry. On November 4, 1966, he married the love of his life, Brenda Joyce Roy Lester, who preceded him in death on January 22, 2022. They had celebrated fifty-five years of marriage and he longed for the day that they could be together again. He is survived by four children, Gary Dean Lester and wife Shirley of Hendricks, Melony Dawn Lester Flanagan and husband Mike of Hambleton, Diana “DeeDee” Christine Lester Kesecker and husband Mike of Hambleton and Aaron Carl Moore and wife Shauntel of Parsons; eight grandchildren, Gary Dean Lester, Jr. and wife Heather, Katie Marie Lester, Cory Allen Lester, John Michael DelSignore, Jr. and wife Laken, Caleb Brant Flanagan, Collin Michael Flanagan, Justin Seth Crosten and wife Emily, and Alyssa Brooke Parsons and husband Daniel; ten great grandchildren;
Preceding him in death were one brother, Wilford Herschel Lester and two sisters, Ona Pearl Williams, and Mary Dean Dasher.
He graduated in 1953 in North Carolina then went on to serve his country by enlisting in the United States Navy. During his thirty-six and a half years of service, he was assigned to the USS Frank Evans from June 1956-September 1956, the USS John Thomason from August 1961-July 1963, and the USS Saratoga from April 1969-April 1971. Some of his accomplishments throughout his career include Yeoman school in San Diego, CA, serving for the Secretary of the Navy and the Bureau of Naval personnel in Washington, D.C., becoming a Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Surface Warfare (OP-03), and serving for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Navy Planning Program, and the Naval Historical Foundation in Washington, D.C. He was also a member of the U.S. Navy Band. He got to see the world as his orders took him to California, Korea, Sicily, Guam, England, and numerous other places. Of all the wonders he experienced in his travels, his most precious treasures were his beloved wife, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Upon retiring from the Navy, he returned to Hambleton, WV, where he was employed by Lambert’s Chevrolet and Performance Motors in Parsons, WV. He was known to many as Les or Master Chief, his favorite hobby was golfing. He was a regular at the Holly Meadows Golf Course, where he is known as a legend. He had made eleven hole in one shots there while enjoying his time golfing and telling stories with his golf buddies. He had also won the E9 Golf Tournament. He also enjoyed playing the guitar and singing to his grandchildren. He was a Pentecostal by faith and attended the Hambleton Pentecostal Church of God in Hambleton, WV, where he enjoyed playing his guitar and singing hymns in front of the congregation. He was a generous man who had opened his home to many throughout his life. His humor and quick wit were second to none. He will be sadly missed by everyone who had the honor of knowing him.
The family received friends at the Lohr & Barb Funeral Home of Parsons, WV on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. On Friday, morning, February 2, 2024, Mr. Lester was moved to the Hambleton Pentecostal Church of God in Hambleton, where final rites were conducted at 10:30 a.m. Ordained Minister Joyce Minear with Rivers of Living Waters Ministries in Elkins, WV, officiated and interment followed at the West Virginia National Cemetery at Grafton, WV, where full military honors was accorded by the U. S. Navy and the Taylor County Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Lohr & Barb Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements for Aaron Banks Lester. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.lohrbarbfuneralhome.com