Lester Edward Seto
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December 21, 1948 - October 31, 2012
SALEM - Lester was born December 21, 1948 in Portland, Oregon, the first son of Mabel Wong (Seto) and Edward Seto. He died unexpectedly on October 31, 2012 as a result of complications from a long term medical condition and recent illness.
When Lester was four, the family moved to Montana. He returned to Portland's Ladd's Addition in 1954 with his mother and younger brother Wesley. His mother worked in the family restaurant "The China Lantern" - the first Chinese restaurant in Beaverton - between 1954-1963/64. His cousin Gary Wong says Lester inherited the love of cooking from his mother, at which he excelled.
Lester attended Portland public schools, played Little League baseball, and wrestled in high school, graduating from Washington High in 1966.
He received his Bachelors and Law degrees from Willamette University in 1970 and 1982, and studied in the University of Oregon Masters program for history in 1970/71. Lester practiced law in Salem his entire career emphasizing criminal defense. He shared office space with fellow Willamette classmate Candace Reed; then with attorney Jane Aiken; finally on his own for the last six years.
Lester was a voracious reader of history, politics, woodworking, computer technology, and cooking. Friends eagerly anticipated his homemade cookies or bread at Christmas, or a surprise handcrafted piece of furniture. Lester converted some of the Pacific Building basement space into a woodshop where he crafted Adirondack chairs, end tables and bookcases for gifts for friends and family.
Lester traveled through England, Scotland and Ireland in the mid-1980's visiting castles, museums and sites of ancient artifacts pursuing his love of history.
He kept a family heirloom clock displayed in every office he occupied and compiled a history of the family home in Ladd's Addition in Portland, where his brother Wesley continues to live.
Lester is survived by his brother Wesley, cousins Gary Wong, Rita Oelschlager, David Wong, and their families; lifelong childhood friends Vern Lee, Geoff Lee, and many friends and colleagues.
Services will be private for the family; a celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Nov. 18, 2012