Services to honor, remember, and celebrate the life of Arthur LeRoy "Bud" Lester will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 in the Chapel of the Garden at Rice Funeral Service. Interment will follow in Oak Haven Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 5:00-7:00 PM at the funeral home. Bud passed away November 27, 2016 at the Veteran's Center in Claremore. He was 96.
Born January 23, 1920 in Lone Elm, Kansas, he was the son of Arthur Garfield and Margaret Frances (Kemper) Lester.
Bud was raised primarily by his mother since his father passed away early in life. Bud attended school and spent most of his youth living in Southeast Kansas. He assisted his mother with their portable skating rink business, which were covered by tents and became quite the attraction during that time.
Bud served his country honorably in the United States Army during World War II. He organized transport for a motor pool under treacherous conditions. His unit was responsible for moving materials utilized for the construction of landing strips primarily in France. Bud clearly remembered the day his vehicle was completely shaken off of the road when the guns initially fired at Normandy. That day he and another soldier were responsible for a transferee from Belgium to Holland. Bud was proud to have served and vigorously supported veterans throughout his lifetime.
On September 17, 1966, Bud married Nola McKnight Sexton in Miami, Oklahoma. Bud and Nola joyfully celebrated their 50th Anniversary this year.
Following World War II, Bud continued to pursue a career in the transportation industry. He was highly respected among his colleagues as a diesel mechanic. He was known by many as the man who could fix anything. Bud spent most of his career with Tulsa Auto Spring Company, which brought the family to Claremore in 1972. He was semi-retired for many years as the demand for his mechanical expertise continued.
Bud also loved to travel with family and friends on a regular basis.
They would frequently visit Colorado, riding the train from Durango to Silverton and they loved to visit the Four Corners State Park.
Bud and Nola also loved to dance together, frequenting local establishments such as the Cain's Ballroom and The Party Barn where they became acquainted with many famous performers such as Charlie Pride. A trip to the Grand Ole Opry was clearly the highlight of this time in their lives. Country music and dancing created many beautiful memories for Bud and Nola.
Once Bud finally retired, most of his time was spent raising cattle and riding horses on their acreage in Claremore. He loved animals and actually knew all of his cattle by their names. Bud was adored by his family and known to be a real sweetheart. Taking his grandchildren to the Tulsa State Fair was a very special time each year. He was a great neighbor and friend to many people. He and his best friend Cliff DeLay spent many years together working on tractors and competing for the biggest and best garden in the area. Bud will be sincerely missed by his family and many friends whom loved him dearly.
Survivors include his wife Nola Lester of Claremore; his children: Arthur LeRoy Lester, Jr. of Erie, Kansas, John D. Lester of Livingston, Texas, Richard Lee Lester of Wenatchee, Washington, Jerry Lee Lester of Erie, Kansas, Roger Roy Lester of Mt. Vernon, Missouri, and Carol Lynn Gore of Oklahoma City; his stepchildren: Phyllis Elaine Marler of Claremore, Cecil S. Sexton, Jr. of Frankston, Texas, Alyce Ann Tallman of Parsons, Kansas, Roger Ned Sexton of Afton, and Randy Lynn Sexton of Tulsa; along with many grandchildren; and great grandchildren.
Bud was preceded in death by his infant son Michael Gene Lester in 1952; two wives: Gladys May Thompson and Thelma Sweeton; daughter-in-law Lois Gay Lester; and stepson Dale Dwight Sexton.
You are invited to share memories of Bud at www.ricefuneralservice.com. Please direct memorial contributions to the Disabled American Veterans, 801 W. Dupont Street, Claremore, OK 74017.
Published on November 30, 2016