Lester Eugene Nelson was born January 29, 1926 in Payette, Idaho to Burton Eugene and Mary Jane (Miller) Nelson, the youngest of eight children. He passed away August 27, 2018 at Syringa General Hospital, Grangeville, Idaho at the age of 92 from TMB (Too Many Birthdays).
One of his first jobs was delivering newspapers. While in high school he participated in wrestling. Before he could graduate he was drafted into the military to serve his country in the Army in WW II. He served as a Forward Scout in France and Germany where he participated in the Battle of the Bulge in the Black Forest. He was decorated with the Purple Heart for injuries received in battle. At the conclusion of the war he served as an M-1 Rifle Instructor.
Shortly after being discharged from the Army, he began a lifelong career in the lumber mill industry beginning in Ontario, OR. During this time, he realized that he could not live without the love of his life—Esther Ringer. They were happily married Aug. 6, 1948 at the home of her parents in Payette. They just celebrated their 70th Anniversary! Esther was honored to have been married to this kind and gentle man for their married life.
When the IdaPine Mill moved to Grangeville in 1953, he and Esther moved their family there also. With the exception of a short time when he sold Fuller Brush products and worked on the construction of the White Bird Hill highway he worked for the mill until his retirement in 1988.
Lester was a member of the Christian Church from the age of 12—first in Payette and then in Grangeville. He assisted with the Boy Scouts. Lester and Esther spent many years camping with the Good Sam club where they made many lifelong friends. He was an avid camper as long as it didn’t include hunting or fishing. He always enjoyed a good joke and was up for a prank when the opportunity presented itself. He was always pleased that he and Esther shared the same birthday only six years apart.
He was preceded in death by his parents and all of his seven siblings.
He is survived by his wife, Esther; his daughter, Lorraine (Rod) Hogaboam; his son, Larry (Lorrie) Nelson; six grandchildren, Kiley Nelson, Michael Nelson, Radley (Michal) Hogaboam, Romney Hogaboam, Dena Nelson-Hendren, and Reionda (Marshall) Taylor; twelve great grandchildren; two great-greats and two soon to be born.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
We thank Dr. Griffis and his staff, the Syringa Hospital and Clinic staff, EMT’s, the Boise VA doctors and staff for the loving care given to Lester the last years of his life.
A viewing will be held Friday, August 31, 2018 at the Blackmer Funeral Home in Grangeville from 3:00 –6:00 pm. A Funeral Service will be held Saturday, September 1, 2018 at 11:00 am at the Grangeville Christian Church. A graveside service will follow at Prairie View Cemetery. Luncheon will follow back at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of the Blackmer Funeral Home of Grangeville.