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Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home
Tuesday February 9th, 2021
2:00pm - 5:00pm

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Lester R Smith Sr

Lester R Smith Sr., age 88, passed peacefully February 4, 2021 under hospice care at St Joseph Medical Center.

Born November 9, 1932 In Joliet, IL to Mervin and Eleanor (Russell) Smith. Lester is survived by six children Sandra L. Smith-Brooks, Lester (Judy) Smith Jr., Steven N. (Pam) Smith, Karen A. Robison (Dennis Horst), David M. (Kim) Smith and Mark J. Smith; two brothers Dale M (Sonja) and Noel B. (Donna) Smith both of Arizona. Preceded by his parents; his wife Beverly J. (Fleischman); daughter JoAnne S. Smith; and one brother Norman R. Smith. 

Lester "call me Les" wore many hats.  In fact, his ball cap collection exceeded 200, but his biggest hat was that of devoted family man. He attended JTHS.  Carpenter was his primary vocation, and Les had been a proud member of Carpenters Local 174. 

Les loved to coach and mentor kids in basketball and baseball in the Richland, Crest Hill area.  He achieved many awards and recognitions. Two accomplishments for which Les took great pride:  the establishment of an annual basketball tournament at Richland Grade School and two ball fields named "Smith Field" and "Marshall Field".  Joe Marshall was a great friend and fellow coach.  Les was content in his elder years to sit in his folding chair, watch the action on the fields, and hold court with old and new friends.

Lester's great joy, especially in retired life, was being a grandparent. His devotion was immense.  His grandkids are: Tessa (Bill) Kenny,  Matthew (Renee) Porter,  Sadie (Mike) West,  Zach (Meg) Smith,  Andy (Christina) Smith, Adam Smith, Jeff (Theresa) Smith, Michelle (Chrystal Smith) Robison, Jenna (Andrew) Welch, and Courtney (Rick) Stewart, along with 19 Great Grandkids, and 2 Great-Great Grandkids.  Les really loved his friends and baseball family.

Visitation for Les will be Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home with a private service following.  Masks are required at all times and there will be a limit of 25 people at a time in the chapel. If you are unable to attend the service in person please join the live stream by visiting Lester’s obituary page at www.bgsfuneralhome.com and click on the Video Link

In lieu of flowers, send donations to a charity of your choice in Lester’s name. 

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lester Smith Sr, please visit our flower store.


To our nieces and nephews and their families. We just finished watching the Life Video of our brother, Lester.
So many photos of the good times with you. It was so obvious how much he loved each of you. We are very grateful
for the care and love you gave him in his later years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Today is a great day to celebrate his life!

Dale and Sonja Smith Feb 9 2021 12:00 AM

A truly great man Lester was. He was a role model to all the youth he coached over the years, & mostly a great family man. He was so very proud of his family. He touched so many lives & was never a stranger to anyone. He donated endless hours to many organizations & volunteered his help without question.
He was a proud & dedicated member of our Carpenters Local 174 & we were all proud to call him our brother! Whenever called upon, he would always be of help & volunteered many hours with the skills he had. He will be sadly missed but always remembered by everyone who knew him.

Gary Perinar Feb 9 2021 12:00 AM

My sympathy and condolences to the Smith family. Mr. Smith was a great man who has had a lasting impression on my life. Rest In Peace Coach.

Nick Rousonelos Feb 8 2021 12:00 AM

This such a beautiful heartwarming tribute to Lester Smith Sr. May God be with all of you and bring you peace.

Bette Kowalczyk Feb 8 2021 12:00 AM

Thank you Bette.

Tessa Kenny Feb 8 2021 12:00 AM

As one goes through life its usually only a handful of people that have a profound impact on their life. Coach Smith was certainly one of those individuals. As I look back it was so much more than basketball that you taught us- hard work , discipline , practice, practice, teamwork, winning and losing and being part of a community that is so much bigger than oneself. You gave so much of your time and gifts that God blessed you with. The words side pivot, 2-1-2, diamond and one, and high post keep rushing over me. Thank you for being a blessing in my life (and my entire family) and so many others! I look forward to suiting up and playing for you again and being part of the TEAM at the Richland Basketball Tournament that will now be held in Heaven. My deepest sympathies Smith Family.

Bret Conklin Feb 7 2021 12:00 AM

My little league and pony league baseball coach. My basketball coach for just a bit at Richland before we went down to St. John's. Les was a true Crest Hill man. He loved the kids in the neighborhood, just like all the Dad's but like his obit said, he was special. Rest easy Les.

Chris Pool Feb 6 2021 12:00 AM

Thanks so much Chris! Xoxo

Sadie Feb 6 2021 12:00 AM

Mr Smith was one of my basketball coaches at Richland GS. He was a good one and a good family man. RIP coach. My condolences to his family.

Tim Gass Feb 6 2021 12:00 AM

Condolences and prayers to the Smith family on your loss. Your father was a great man who selflessly dedicated his time and talents to the benefit of so many kids in the Richland neighborhood. As a young man, I was blessed with many coaches to guide me over the years, however Coach Smith is at the top of my list in terms of great memories and life lessons. Several years ago I was back in the neighborhood to visit family and I'm so grateful that I saw your dad outside his home and had chance to visit with him once more. May you find peace of mind knowing that he made such a positive impact on so many young lives. Like many others, I will always carry great memories of him as long as I'm alive. Godspeed, Coach Smith!

John Schneider Feb 6 2021 12:00 AM

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