Barbara Kathleen Lester
November 9, 1955 – March 13, 2021
Barbara Kathleen Lester was born on November 11, 1955. She passed away peacefully in her home, attended by family, on March 13, 2021 after a devastating battle with Alzheimers.
Throughout her life she resided in many places, but considered her childhood home Albert Lea Minnesota where she spent most of her formative years. She graduated from Clover Park High School in Lakewood Washington in 1974. She then pursued a degree in education, graduating from Central Washington University in 1979. Her teaching career began in the field of special education in 1982. She retired in 2015 from Tumwater Middle School after 17 years. She gained many lifelong friends throughout her career and undoubtedly changed the lives of many of her students and their families with her compassion and advocacy.
As a teen and young adult Barbara spent many summers as a Christian camp counselor at Camp of the Holy Spirit and Camp Houston. These were some of her most beloved places. It was here where she began a deep connection with the Lord, singing His praise among nature alongside loved ones. Anyone who knew Barb knows of the deep love she had for this time in her life, and for the friends that became family along the way. Many of her closest, lifelong friendships began at camp.
In 1984 she settled in DuPont where she had her three adoring children - Emily, Kathleen and Patrick. Her children will remember her as the strongest, kindest, and most loving woman on the face of the Earth. She was and will always be their most important role model. She taught them compassion, resilience, and grace. Her children believe they had the most unbelievable mother, and are honored to carry on her legacy.
While raising her children she remained active in DuPont civic life, including volunteering for many years at the Historical Society Museum. Bob often mused that you might take Barb out of DuPont, but you could never take DuPont out of Barb.
She ensured her children always had a stable and loving home environment. She kept an “open door-policy” for all of their friends and neighbors who were always greeted with a smile, likely a plate of spaghetti and garlic bread, and warm and loving conversation.
Barbara had a love for every person and their individualities. She loved sports, and was a huge fan of the Seattle Mariners and the Super Sonics. She loved animals (especially golden retrievers), being outside, doing yard work, and taking walks in the greenbelt of DuPont. She was always delighted to engage in intelligent conversation around politics and history. On her summer break you could find her in the backyard reading her favorite books and basking in the sunshine, or taking her kids on a treasured family vacation. She married her truest love Bob Lester in 2011 and moved to Olympia. Bob and she were able to travel a bit and enjoy married life for a few years before her diagnosis. Barb was such a good sport in supporting Bob’s passion for flying, she even stepped out of her comfort zone and took flight with him on several trips. He truly completed her, his unconditional kindness matching hers. Bob stayed by her side until the end of her life, something we know she found comfort in every day.
Her faith in God was never rocked by hardship, a trait of hers that is admired by many. As hard as it was to have her life end in this slow and painful fashion, we know that she truly held faith and trust in God for her and her family. She is survived and deeply missed by her husband Bob Lester, her children, granddaughters Lola (5) and Sydney (3), and her siblings Mark, Doug and Wendy. She is also survived by hundreds of neighbors and friends, many of whom she considered family.
A Memorial for her will be held on May 8, 2021 at the Community Presbyterian Church of DuPont at 11am.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Barbara Kathleen Lester
Mary K Johnson
May 8, 2021
I had the pleasure and luck to work with Barb for my 8 years in the Tumwater School District. She and I shared passion for teaching special education and advocating for the many students that came through our classes and lives! I remember when Barb met Bob...he filled a space in her heart that she had been holding for that perfect someone! She loved her children...bragged about them whenever she could! I hadn't seen Barb in a few years and I will always regret that. I know is that Barb is in heaven...watching over those she loved.
May 8, 2021
Never, never forgotten. My condolences to all her loves.