James Robert Lester Jr.

Published 5:02 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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James Robert Lester Jr. “Bob” 60 of Suffolk, passed away Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at Sentara Obici Hospital with his family at his side.

He was the only child born to James Robert “Jim” Lester and Bonnie Lester. Bob’s first six years were spent in Altus, Oklahoma then his parents moved to West Virginia and later to Portsmouth.

Bob was a 1980 graduate of Western Branch High School, Chesapeake, and a 1984 graduate of Bluefield University (formerly Bluefield College) where he was a brother in Sigma Phi Omega fraternity. It was there that Bob met his fraternity brother Robert Hawkes, and the two of them became life-long friends. They spent many hours reminiscing about their college days and discussing the problems of the world today.

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Bob married the love of his life, Janie Lemon and they began their life journey together. They were blessed with the birth of their only child, a son, Wes. Bob devoted his life to caring for his family while also helping others. He coached Little League Baseball at SYAA for many years. He was a Sunday School teacher, a choir member and participated in bible study groups while working full-time and continuing his seminar studies in night classes under the instruction of Dr. Jack Patterson. Bob loved music and was an accomplished guitarist. He studied music and was a member of WBHS chorus while under the teaching of Dr. Price. Bob had fond memories of singing with the WBHS chorus in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Bob’s professional career ended at Shared Hospital Services in Portsmouth where he retired disabled; he was Operations Manager. He enjoyed his years with the employees there and that is where he met his forever friend, Mike Monohan.

Bob was predeceased by his father, Jim Lester; his uncles, Tracy Cook (Beckley, W.V), Thomas S. Lester (Portsmouth), Wayne Maynor (MacArthur, W.V.) and Larry N. Owen (Suffolk); his cousin, Lloyd Dean Cook (Beckley, W.V.) and aunt, Betty Maynor (Beckley W.V.).

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Janie Lester; son, Wes and his mother, Bonnie Maynor Lester. Others left to cherish his memory are his aunts, Jean Cook, (Beckley, WV), Ginger Owen (Suffolk), Avril Maynor (Mt. Lookout, W.V.), Susan Lester (Portsmouth) and Terri Lester (Greenville, N.C.) and uncles, Vernon Maynor (Mt. Lookout, W.V.) and Philip Lester, (Greenville, N.C.); his five brothers-in-law that were like brothers to Bob, a close friend from high school Hayden Frye, a host of nieces, nephews and cousins and his cousin, David Cook, with whom Bob had a special bond. David and Bob spent hours reminiscing about their “glory days” of growing up together.

R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, Downtown Suffolk Chapel is serving the family. Condolences may be registered at RWBakerFH.com. Memorial services will be announced later.