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Lester Ryan ANDERSON

Obituary
3 entries
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ANDERSON, Lester Ryan 85, died peacefully at his Seminole home on Jan. 13, 2013 in the company of his wife of 62 years, Rose Helen (Goff). Born in Camden, New Jersey on Jan. 21, 1927 to Lester R. Anderson and Marie Mitchell, Lester attended Catholic school, learning at an accelerated pace, until his father's untimely death caused Lester to transfer to Camden High School his sophomore year. Events outside the classroom, including the escalation of World War II, captured Lester's attention and he left school, volunteering as a messenger for the Air Raid Wardens. Rejected by the Navy because of his poor eyesight when he attempted to enlist at 17, Lester got his chance to serve his country the following year when he was drafted into the Army and sent to Germany. His time guarding German POWs matured him and he returned to the States grateful for the lessons he learned abroad. Although he lost his own father at a young age, Lester went on to create a large and loving family with his wife, Rose. Lester is survived by Rose; and by his children and their spouses, Peter and Sheila Anderson, Paul and Leanne Anderson, Mary and John Kokell, Mark and Margie Anderson, George Anderson, Susan and Michael Jabel, and David and Patty Anderson. He is preceded in death by son, Michael William Anderson. Lester was blessed with 12 grandchildren, Elizabeth Rose and Hannah, Gretchen, Thomas Cash, Stephen, Christopher, and Julie, Emily and Caroline, Kelcie, Ryan and Molly. Les also had two great-grandchildren, Morgan and Harrison. After his time in the service, Lester pursued many interests and talents both personally and professionally, including jobs as a carpenter, builder, steel fabricator, and his most recent position as pool man for the Bellaire Beach Motel. Prior to moving to Florida he was a volunteer fireman for the West Point, PA Fire Company. In his leisure time he enjoyed painting, boat building, fishing, skiing, and parachuting, as well as reading novels, completing the daily crossword puzzle and making his own beer and wine. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus. A devout Roman Catholic his entire life, he died as a member of St. Jerome Catholic Church in Largo, where he served as an usher at the 9 am Mass on Sundays. He enjoyed reading the Bible, praying the Rosary, and supporting numerous charities. A friend to many, a quiet and humble center to a bustling family tree, a funny and kind man, intelligent, curious, and equally good with his mind as with his hands; he will be missed by everyone fortunate enough to know him. Rose's last birthday gift to her husband was a hot air balloon ride over Seminole and St. Petersburg. It was a fitting celebration for a man who loved the unique adventures this part of Florida provides. Les will be interred at Bay Pines Veteran's Memorial cemetery following cremation. His life will be celebrated at a funeral Mass on Monday, Jan. 21, at 11 am at St. Jerome Catholic Church, 10895 Hamlin Blvd., Largo, FL 33774, 727-595-4610. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Suncoast Hospice, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd. Clearwater, FL 33760 or www.suncoasthospice.org.

Published in the Tampa Bay Times from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2013
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