Cory, Dr. Lester "Les" W.
Dr. Lester W. Cory passed away on April 24, 2020 in the loving care of his family. He was born in Tiverton, Rhode Island on July 25, 1939, the youngest of three sons of Harold R. and Margaret G. Cory. He is married to the former Patricia Barrett. They have five children: Stephen Cory, Dyan Vaughan (John), Michael Cory, Melynda Viera (Richard Giguere), and Ann Vassiliadis (John); seven grandchildren: Jereme Beller, Cara Massey, Angela Viera, Samuel Chetwynd, Jacob Chetwynd, Emma Cory and Rachel Chetwynd; one great-grandchild, and many nieces and nephews.
Les graduated from Bradford Durfee College of Technology (now UMass Dartmouth) in 1963 with a degree in electrical engineering. He earned advanced degrees in engineering, science, and education from Northeastern University, URI (honorary D.Sci) and Bridgewater University. He is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force War College. Les served in the Rhode Island Air National Guard from 1957 to 1991 retiring with the rank of colonel. As commander of the 143rdCommunications Flight and later of the 281stCombat Communications Group, his military awards include the U.S. Air Force Legion of Merit, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, and the Rhode Island Star.
Les was an accomplished professor of electrical and computer engineering at UMass Dartmouth from 1963 until retirement as Chancellor Professor Emeritus in 2008. He helped found and served as longtime volunteer Director of the SHARE Foundation; helping nearly 4,000 non-verbal individuals with disabilities to communicate. For this work, Les was honored by Ronald Reagan with the President's Volunteer Action Award. Les was also President of theDurfee Bells Preservation Society, a pilot, radio operator, choir member, and friend and mentor to many. Among his greatest achievements are the love and admiration of his family, friends, colleagues and the countless people whose lives were improved through his caring work and example. Immediate services will be held privately with the Hathaway Home for Funerals, Fall River, MA. A memorial service will be announced in the future as gathering restrictions lift. Memorial donations can be made to SHARE Foundation, 128 Union St., STE. LL3#6 New Bedford, MA 02740. To leave on online condolence go to www.hathawayfunerals.com