Obituary Gerald (Jerry) Richard Lester, 74, was called home to the Lord on Friday, July 19th, 2019. He was surrounded by his family at St. Joe's cardiac care unit, where he passed peacefully after dispensing final advice to the girls and telling one last joke. He was born in Tacoma, WA January 16th, 1945 to Rex and Elizabeth (Betty) Lester. Jerry grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Bellarmine Prep, then continued his education in the ROTC program at Seattle University for his Bachelor's degree and finished his education at City University with a MBA. Jerry retired after 28 years of service with the Internal Revenue Service. Jerry was a proud veteran of the US Army where he served in Vietnam and was promoted to the rank of Captain prior to receiving an honorable discharge. Upon leaving the service, he met and married Corliss (Ross) Lester. They were married for 48 years and had four daughters. They raised their family in Gig Harbor, WA where Jerry was an active member of the community through coaching his daughters' sports teams, serving in the Knights of Columbus, and being active at St. Nicolas Catholic Church. Through these activities, as well as his generous parenting, he managed to pick up several spare daughters along the way and was just as proud of them as he was of his own! This paved the way for parenting round 2, a.k.a. Grandpa / Papa, which involved a balance of spoiling, correction, and mini-life lessons. He would joke he finally got the experience to see what it was like to have little boys running around and relive raising little girls. He growled like a grizzly - especially if one had intentions to date a daughter or threaten a grandchild - but really was a softy. It was common for any Raft Island walker, the mailman, UPS, the garbage collector, caregiver, etc to stop and chat with Dad; he had a story and opinion for every occasion and was liberal with the amount of humor he trickled in. He once received an invitation for his family of 6 to go to dinner at a once-stranger's house, simply by chatting in line at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney. That was Jerry! He was an avid reader, crossword puzzle enthusiast, and trivia buff. After correctly identifying the elusive African Barking Spider, he was encouraged to audition for Jeopardy, although he never did. Jerry was an active member of several car clubs, including the Gig Harbor Cruisers, and could often been seen at the ticket table of the annual car show. He was a huge sports fan (Go Irish, Go Cubbies, Go Hawks!) and brought that same level of enthusiasm to his daughters' elementary through high school sporting events. Somehow, Dad always found his way to the court or the field to cheer us on and plant the seed to always do our best. Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, his youngest sister Mary Eason, and his youngest brother Dr. Paul Lester. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Corliss; his daughters, Erica (Scott) Taylor, Sarah (Adam) Hogenson, Ruth (Ryan) Mork, and Marie (Connor) Most and his 6 grandchildren; his sister Lori Oliver, his brother John (Kathie) Lester, sister-in-law Jodi Lester, Bill (Linda) Cope, and numerous nieces, nephews, and unofficially adopted family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the following: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Wounded Warrior Project, or St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home
Service Date: 07/24/2019 at 11:00 AM
Location:St. Nicholas Catholic Church
Cemetery:Tahoma National Cemetery
Funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Gig Harbor, WA on Wednesday, July 24th at 11AM with celebratory reception to follow - bring your best memories to share! The Rosary will be held that same evening at Gaffney Funeral Home in Tacoma, WA at 7PM. There will be a family, graveside, full military burial on Thursday, July 25th at Tahoma National Cemetery where Jerry will be laid to rest.