Della May Lesher was born on November 25, 1924, in New London, Connecticut. She was the fourth born, but oldest daughter of 8 children: Reginald, Aubrey, George, Della, Dorthea (Louise), Maurice, Muriel and Jessie. She grew up in New London, and told many stories about her life at the homestead. She would take the younger children in the stroller and go down to the pier to buy fish for her mom, as they were close to the Thames River. She had a close relationship with her siblings and especially her sisters. She talked about loving to buy clothes once she began working and she had many photos of the fashion choices of the day. She met John Bohrer, who had just returned from WW11, at a dance and she recalled that everyone thought he looked like a movie star. They fell in love and married on June 14, 1945.
Their only child, Dellohna, “Loni” was born on April 1, 1946 and was cherished and loved by her parents and extended family. Della went to school to become a nurse during Loni’s childhood and has many stories of her time as a nurse. California is where Della and John moved to and stayed for many years. Later in life, their daughter married, and they had grandchildren--who Della felt very close to all her life. Della became a realtor and had a large group of clients who stayed friends with her even 30 years after she retired from realty. She and John loved to visit their ranch house in Apple Valley, CA and enjoyed projects there. John called himself one of the last cowboys and enjoyed all things western. John was very handy with building, with metalsmithing and carpentry and used those skills extensively over the years. John became sick with cancer and passed away in 1981.
In a Christmas card, Della wrote to one of her previous realty clients, Harold Lesher and his wife, and let them know John had passed away in April. Harold was also a widower and wrote her back letting her know that his wife had died the previous year.
Harold and Della kept in correspondence and eventually, they went on a date and enjoyed each other’s company. After a few dates, they realized that they wanted to continue to see each other. On December 1, 1984, they married and Harold, who had no children, became a part of a big family who loved him. Della always called Harold “the love of her life.” They moved up to Oregon in 2004 to be a larger part of their grandkids and great grandkids lives. There were many happy memories in Grandma and Grandpa Lesher’s house: cooking together, eating out, doing projects, and decorating together, shopping and visiting. There were never more loved desserts than Grandma’s lemon meringue pie, apple pie and her milkshakes. Della loved life and truly enjoyed her days working around the house and the yard and spending time with Harold and her family. But she honored John also, and had a western theme in her home and among her antiques.
Della and Harold were married 28 years, before Harold passed away. They were grateful that they had such a good, long time together. Della missed Harold the rest of her life, and even when dementia set in, she did not forget him. Through the years, she continued to keep close contact with her sister, Jessie, and sister Louise-until Louse passed, and niece, Lori, as well as many other family and close friends.
For years, Della’s closing words on any letter, email or correspondence to family was, “Love you forever.” That phrase will always be treasured in the hearts of those who knew how much she meant it. She was very attached to the family and told us repeatedly that she was asking God that she could come back to be a “guardian angel” for the family, because she wanted to keep us all safe. She probably has wonderful things to do in Heaven. But the fact that her thoughts were always to care for family, even when she could enjoy the splendor of Heaven, explains the true nature and heart of Della’s love which will be valued and remembered always.
Della May Lesher
Resident of Earth November 25, 1924
Resident of Heaven November 28, 2023
We love you forever, Della! Save a milkshake for us!