Valdosta Daily Times

February 23, 2013

William McMorris Lester Jr.

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — William McMorris Lester Jr., of Valdosta died Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 at home.  He was born in Augusta, Ga., Nov. 24, 1927 to the late William McMorris Lester, Sr. and Elizabeth Miles Lester. Mr. Lester was a member of Park Avenue United Methodist Church. He attended public schools in Augusta and completed high school in Washington, D.C. After graduating from The Citadel, in Charleston, S.C., he was employed by The Trust Company of Georgia in Atlanta. In 1957 Mr. Lester moved with his wife, Bobbie, and his family, to establish the Valdosta Federal Savings and Loan Association. Through mergers, this became the Valdosta office of Branch Bank & Trust (BB&T). He served as local president of BB&T until retirement in 1993. Mr. Lester is survived by his wife Bobbie Wells Lester of 59 years and four children: Catherine Lester Perry and her husband Charles of Conyers, Ga., Cheryl Lester Tunkle and her husband Richard of Rabun Gap, Georgia, William Miles Lester and his wife Cindy of Auburn, Ala., and William McMorris (Tripp) Lester, III, of Valdosta. Ten grandchildren survive Mr. Lester: Lisa Perry Moseley and Joanna Perry Legg; Sarah Catherine Tunkle and Caroline Rebecca Tunkle; Ashley Elizabeth Lester, Elizabeth Connelly Lester, Catherine Ansley Lester, and William Miles Lester, Jr.; and William McMorris Lester, IV, and John Wells Lester. He is also survived by great-grandchildren: Kent and Kyle Moseley, and Grayson and Aiden Legg. Other survivors include brother, James Luther Lester and wife Gwen, of Augusta; two nephews, Jimmy and Frank Lester; cousin, Marcus Lester and wife Rachel of Newberry, S.C., cousin Earl and Suzanne Coons of Maryland; and sister-in-law, Nancy Wells.

William McMorris Lester Jr. left behind an indelible mark on the Valdosta community through his over 50 years of service in various organizations and clubs. Mr. Lester served as the state president for all Georgia Savings and Loans Associations. He also served on the board of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Hospital Authority for over 20 years; he was President of the Valdosta United Way and President of the Valdosta Country Club. He served as a member of the Valdosta Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the University of Georgia Gridiron Society. An avid fisherman and hunter, Mr. Lester was a member of the Ocean Pond Fishing Club and the East Side Fishing Camp in Darien, Ga. which included annual duck hunting trips to nearby Fort Barrington. He didn’t stop there, as he forged lifelong friendships through the “Mafia Supper Club Group,” the “Tuesday Morning Smith Hospital Breakfast,” and the “12 Old Men” with their monthly Ocean Pond meetings. His involvement in the community was not limited to these activities, as he always went out of his way to make each person in his life feel appreciated through seemingly casual gestures. He made a person feel as if they were his friend.

His love of golf stemmed from his childhood spent in Augusta with Augusta National at his back door, and evolved into his over forty years of bringing friends to his home for The Masters. He loved the Masters so much that he wanted his future wife, Bobbie, to join him so much, in fact, that he had a friend fly her in last minute for the final day of the tournament to meet his parents. The rest is history.

Bill never met a stranger. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, and he will be remembered by many and missed by all.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in the chapel of Carson McLane Funeral Home with burial to follow in the Sunset Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Dasher Heart Center South Georgia Medical Center, PO Box 1727, Valdosta, GA 31603. Condolences to the family may be conveyed online at — Carson McLane Funeral Home.