Leslie Patrick "Pat" Vest
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Weaverville - Leslie Patrick "Pat" Vest, 80, of Weaverville, died on Monday, February 24, 2014 of lymphoma. Pat is survived by his children: Paul (Vicki) Vest of Asheville, David (Claire) Vest of Nashville, TN, and Jennifer (Tom) Fischer of Downingtown, PA. He loved his grandchildren: Brian (Jessica), Kevin (Jesse), Caitlin, and Morgan Vest; Rachael Gadd; and Tommy, Coleman, Adeline, and Brendan Fischer; and great-granddaughter, Sada Vest. Also surviving are his siblings: Jerry Vest of NM, Jim Vest of CA, Eleanor New of ID, and Doug (Betty) Vest of NE.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Les and Mira Vest and his devoted wife of 57 years, Angie, who was also his high school sweetheart. Since Angie's death in 2010, Pat's constant companion has been their little dog "Husker."
When he graduated high school in Nebraska the draft was in effect, so he joined the Navy and served during the Korean War. After 4 years in the Navy, having landed in California with his beautiful bride, Pat began work for the YMCA and obtained his college education, including a master's degree in Recreation & Leisure Studies.
Pat became an assistant professor at Long Beach State, but chose a career with the YMCA. His vocation took his family from California to Wenatchee, WA, back to CA, to New Jersey, to Atlanta, and finally to Philadelphia. At the time of his retirement, he was a consultant with The YMCA of the USA. He was passionate about helping young professionals develop their careers and helping independent YMCAs develop staff teams to serve local communities.
Upon retiring to WNC in 1996, Pat and Angie enjoyed golf, travel, and community involvement. Pat loved Nebraska Cornhuskers football and NY Yankees baseball. His volunteerism included Weaverville Rotary Club, The YMCA of WNC, Junior Achievement, Weaverville Primary School, Grace Episcopal Church, Building Bridges of Asheville, and The Center for Diversity Education.
Pat had few regrets in life. However, he spoke of his three war time tours in Korea with painful memories. He also had deep regrets that he didn't start sooner and do more to work for racial equality.
A celebration of Pat's life will be held at 11:00 on Saturday at Grace Episcopal Church, 871 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. His ashes will be interred in the church's memorial garden, and a reception will follow.
In death, as in life, Pat wanted to be of service to others. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Endowment Fund of the YMCA of WNC, 53 Asheland Ave., Suite 105, Asheville, NC 28801; or to The Endowment Fund of Grace Episcopal Church, 871 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2014