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Lester Junior Gaither

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LESTER JUNIOR GAITHER Lester Junior Gaither of Riverside died peacefully at Riverside Community Hospital on January 23, 2013 at the age of 91. Lester was born in Carlinville, Illinois and was the son of the late Lester Albert and Celia Wise Gaither. Lester grew up in Brighton, Illinois and graduated from Brighton Community High School. In 1941, Lester enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for four years. His ship was the USS Mount Katman and he served as Pharmacists' Mate First Class. In 1946 Lester married Avis Marie Millar at which time Lester re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at Ft. Riley, Kansas. The U.S. Air Force relocated the family to Japan, returning to March AFB. The family moved military style from March AFB to Spokane, WA to Baltimore, MD to Albany, GA to Del Rio, TX and to March AFB. Lester was involved in developing flight suits for the top secret U-2 program. In 1962, Lester retired from military service and settled in Riverside. Lester began working for the state. He continued his medical technical assistant career at CRC in Corona, CA. In 1977 Lester retired and with Avis settled in Vista, CA in 1979. The Senior Community, Sycamore Creek, offered Les and Avis many friendships, weekly cribbage and poker games, potlucks, travel and the time to share stories and support one another. Lester joined the Baptist church and volunteered to assist his friend to cook delicious meals for the congregation. Lester was preceded in death by the love of his life, Avis Marie, on Valentine's day, 1994. He lived in Vista, CA, until 2004 at which time Sycamore Creek closed and he relocated to Olive Grove Senior Resort in Riverside, CA. He maintained an independent life style until his 90th year and then joined Life Style II for assisted care. He made friends wherever he went and always had a cribbage board and deck of cards. Lester is survived by his brother Robert; his children: Cheryl Jackson, Jeffrey Gaither (Kathy), Michael Gaither, Nellie Holmes and Gary Gaither; his grandchildren: Kim Randolph (Bren), Shannon Shesky (Jon), Gwendolyn Conton (Albert), Carrie Romero (Tom), Erin Morrison (Gavin), Monica Holmes; great grandchildren: Aidan Romero, Kendall Romero, Jeffrey Conton and Stella Morrison. Lester will be remembered, especially by all of his granddaughters who loved him for his kindness and caring. He cherished them and treated them with tenderness and love.

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Published in Press-Enterprise on Feb. 6, 2013
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