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Lester Berkeley Breeding

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Lester Berkeley Breeding Obituary

Lester Berkeley Breeding of Gridley, CA, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2015. He was born November 10, 1929 in San Jose, CA to John and Ella Breeding.

After graduating from Fremont Union High School in Sunnyvale in 1948 he joined the family farming business with his father and older brother, John Jr.

Lester entered the Army on September 27, 1951, and two weeks prior to being shipped to Korea he married his high school sweetheart Katharine (Kay) Oldfield on March 27, 1952. While in Korea he served on a mortar crew for 10 months and 19 days and participated in the battles for Triangle Hill and Pork Chop Hill. For his service in Korea he was awarded the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal. In 2000, he returned to South Korea with his sons Steve and Bob and was honored by the South Korean people for his service, and he marveled at the beauty of the country.

In 1962, Lester moved his family, Kay, Steve, Bob and Patti to the Live Oak-Gridley area to continue their family ranching business.

In 1972 Lester attended classes in Boston to acquire the training and technical knowledge to obtain his real estate and insurance license in California. Later, he became the manager of the Butte Water District where he served for 20 years.

Lester was a firm believer in service to his country and to his community. For 13 years he served on the Manzanita School Board. He was a member of Gridley Rotary where he served as president and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship Award. He was a devoted member of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Gridley where he was a Junior and Senior Warden.

Lester was a Master Mason in North Butte Lodge #230 and belonged to the Sacramento Scottish Rite.

We say farewell to a most remarkable, wise, humble gentleman who touched many lives with his affection, humor and generosity. May his spirit and character continue on with each one of us.

Lester is survived by his wife of 63 years, Kay; by their son Robert and wife Renee, their children Tyler, Travis and Bailey; by their daughter Patricia and husband John Wettstein, their children Bryce and Luke; by Steven's children Joshua and Clayton and his brothers and sisters-in-law Donald and Norma Oldfield of Auburn, Bob and Sharon Wells of Loma Rica, Debbie and Larry Lake of Oklahoma City and numerous nieces and nephews.

Lester was preceded in death by his parents John and Ella, his brother John Jr., and his eldest son Steven.

A military inurnment will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2015 at the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery. A memorial celebration of Lester's life will follow at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Gridley at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95817 or to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Mar. 9, 2015
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