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.
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