Evelyn Lester

March 14, 1923March 7, 2018

Evelyn Sawyer Lester, 94, of Nashville, TN passed away peacefully at her home on March 7, 2018. She was born in Nashville on March 14, 1923. Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, Obie Fletcher Sawyer and Louise Hall Sawyer; her beloved husband of 44 years, Judge Harry Lester; and her two brothers, Kenneth and Raymond Sawyer.

Evelyn is survived by her two sisters, Mildred Sawyer Duer of Nashville; Dorothy Sawyer Oxley (Charles) of Dunwoody, GA; two brothers, Robert Lee Sawyer (Debbie) of Nashville and Frank Sawyer of California; and nieces and nephews – Philip Duer (Pam), Pat Harmon (Mike), Leslie Peebles (Paul), Harry Duer (Amanda), Debbie Forte, Knapp Pangburn (Jennifer), Sharon Potts, Bart Pangburn, Michelle Sawyer, Stephanie Robinson (Norman) and Fletcher Sawyer.

Evelyn attended Hillsboro High School and graduated from Peabody Demonstration School in 1943. She attended Peabody College. Evelyn was employed by First American National Bank for many years and retired as a Bank Officer in 1988.

Evelyn was involved in numerous clubs and held lifetime memberships in the Vanderbilt Aid Society, Cumberland Museum League, Friends of Children’s Hospital, The Salvation Army Auxiliary, American Red Cross, Nashville Ballet of Friends, of which she was one of the founding members and St. Thomas Hospital.

Evelyn was also active in numerous community services throughout Nashville, some of which were the Young Women’s Christian Association, Nashville Kidney Association, The Mental Health Association where she was a past Board member, St. George’s Episcopal Church where she served on the Executive Board for the Women of the Church, National Conference of Christians & Jews, the Tennessee Historical Society, the Ladies Hermitage Association, the Nashville Symphony Guild, The Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities (APTA), Women’s Club of Nashville where she was an active member for 32 years, Nashville Bar Association Auxiliary, Nashville Opera Guild, Cumberland Heights Friends, Friends of Cheekwood and the Tennessee Botanical Gardens & Fine Arts.

Evelyn loved St. George’s Episcopal Church and was an active member for many years. Evelyn was a true “people person” and loved to socialize and entertain her family and friends. She took great pride in her gardens and throughout the years had hosted weddings, annual July 4th parties, club meetings, family reunions and birthday cookouts, and she used any excuse to entertain outside. She dearly loved her family and friends and had a generous heart to anyone who needed a helping hand. She was like a second mother to many of her nieces and nephews and was the matriarch in her large extended family. Her desire to actively participate in the community continued even after the passing of her husband.

The family of Evelyn would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation for the wonderful care given to her by Daisy Jones for the last many years. She was assisted by her family members Sharon Watson, Inez Polk and Darnez Johnson who were kind and supportive to Evelyn as well. Our appreciation also goes out to Avalon Hospice.

Pallbearers will be Robert Sawyer (honorary), Philip Duer, Harry Duer, Knapp Pangburn, Bart Pangburn, Mike Harmon and Paul Peebles.

At Evelyn’s request, in lieu of flowers, do something loving and kind for a friend. A memorial can also be made in Evelyn’s name to St. George’s Episcopal Church or Avalon Hospice.

Visitation with the Lester family will be on Tuesday, March 13th from 11 a.m. until 1p.m. with service to follow at Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.


  • Visitation Tuesday, March 13, 2018
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Evelyn Lester

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Barbara Daane

March 13, 2018

Evelyn was a friend for many years from St George's church. She was such a darling person and a great supporter of my efforts at Park Center. We also shared a love of high heels and old cars with character. I have been missing her and now so sad that she has left us. She was a humdinger.
Barbara Daane