Our loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Melvin LaMar Lester, returned to his Heavenly Father on Dec. 9, at his home in Hilliard, surrounded by his family.
LaMar began his mortal journey Feb. 16, 1927, in Hilliard, born to Merle and Francis (Bell) Lester. His early years were spent on the Lester Ranch that his grandfather Henry Lester homesteaded. He later purchased part of the ranch and remained there until the time of his death.
He attended a one-room schoolhouse in Hilliard and later spent a year and a half attending Evanston High School. With the world engaged in conflict, he enlisted in the Coast Guard at the young age of 17. He served throughout the South Pacific and was honorably discharged in 1946.
He married his sweetheart, Linnea Paulson, on May 24, 1950, in the Salt Lake Temple. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many callings in the Hilliard Ward. His favorite callings, however, were that of husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Together, LaMar and Linnea raised their 10 children on the family ranch. LaMar helped augment the family ranch income by working several outside jobs including as a truck driver for Milne and Frontier Trucking Companies. He also worked on the Altamont Tunnel and for Bear River Lumber.
He retired from the Wyoming State Hospital, where he worked as a security guard. LaMar was always proud to tell everyone about his 51 grandchildren and 100 great-grandchildren with three more on the way. He had a special relationship with each and every one of them.
LaMar is survived by daughters, Marcia (Kevin) DeWitt of Leeds, Utah, Lori (Steve) Owens of Auburn, Lincoln County, Jan (John) Cassinat of Elk Grove, California, Sherrie (Eric) South and Marianne Winfield, both of Evanston; sons, Craig (Christie) Lester and Merle (Vickie) Lester both of Evanston and Paul (Jennifer) Lester of Hurricane, Utah.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Linnea; his parents; brothers, Allen and Merle Lester; sisters, Hilma Martin, LaVerne Martin and Jean Layton; son and daughter-in-law Dean and Sandy Lester and their infant son Darren; his son, Bruce; son-in-law, John Winfield; and four great-granddaughters.
Funeral services will be held at noon on Friday, Dec. 15, at the Hilliard LDS Church, 15 miles south of Evanston on Highway 150. Friends and family may call from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, at the LDS Sage Street Chapel, 200 Sage St., Evanston, and from 10:30-11:45 a.m. on Friday at the Hilliard LDS Church.
Interment with military honors will be in the Evanston City Cemetery.