Lester E. White

January 4th, 2013

Lester E. White, fondly known as “Les”, age 82, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on January 4, 2013.

Les was born on March 26, 1930, in Rutland, Vermont, he was the dear son of the late Carl and Gladys (Wood) White.  Les was raised and educated in Benson, Vermont and a graduate of Rutland High School.  Following graduation, Les was called up from inactive duty with the Army National Guard Service to active duty in the United States Army on September 5, 1950, during the Korean Conflict.  Les attended Infantry School and Leadership Courses while faithfully serving the country; Les was honorably discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant on December 18, 1953.

While in the service, Les married his “sweetheart” Barbara J. Ruger in 1951.  Les and Barbara moved to New York following his discharge from the Army and Les continued his education at the Farmingdale State College in New York, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and graduating top of his Class in 1956.

Les and Barbara moved to Wilmington in 1962, where they raised three wonderful daughters, shared many happy times, and made countless memories to last for generations to come.

Les took a position as a chemical engineer for AVCO Defense Systems in Wilmington, later known as Textron.  Les was a dedicated and faithful employee and his knowledge of his field was renowned.  He was a hard worker and a wonderful friend to his many co-workers.  He retired from his position in 1986 but Les couldn’t stay stagnant for long so following his retirement he went to work for Huntley’s Hardware Store in the Wilmington Plaza.  Les had a great knowledge and knack for “fixing things”, he also had quite an endearing personality and a giving nature so many customers at Huntley’s would seek him out for advice on a household projects and Les would often take time to go and help; he was a very “hands on guy”.

Les also took time to become very involved in the Community of Wilmington, he was a member of the School Board for many years, he started “Helping Hands” which was a group that went out and helped Senior Citizens with household projects, and he continued to help and volunteer where ever he was needed.  Les was recognized for his countless efforts and was voted the Wilmington Good Guy in 1994.

Les was a man of great faith and he loved being a member of the Wilmington United Methodist Church.  Les took his role as a member quite seriously, he volunteered for every project, was involved in the outreach program FISH, helped where ever he was needed, he formed many special bonds with his ministers and fellow church members, and was always there to lend a hand, an ear, or an idea.

Lester’s giving nature also went beyond the community of Wilmington, Les started an outreach program with Governor Paul Tsongas in Lowell called SHARE, this program was to help young people with substance abuse, give them support and direction to turn their lives around.  Les helped countless young adults over the years.  He also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, as a camp counselor at Asbury Grove, and was proud to be a Mason at the Friendship Lodge in Wilmington where he was able to be involved in many projects that helped others over the years.

In his spare time, Les enjoyed cooking, gardening, traveling, and camping with the “Hot Rivets” a lively group that had a lot of fun together for more than 40 years.

Family was most important to Les, he was a devoted husband for over 60 years to Barbara, a loving and supportive father and most of all the best “Pop” that any grandchild could want.  He was a wonderful son, brother, brother in law, uncle, and a true and dear friend to many.  Les will live on in the many good deeds he did for others and was a shining example of how we should all live our lives.  Les truly left the world a better place and he will be greatly missed.

Les was the beloved husband of Barbara J. (Ruger) White, loving father of Debra Parker and her late husband Dennis of Wilmington, Nancy Markgren and her husband Russell of Wells, ME, and Cynthia Barcellos and her husband Mike of Wilmington, cherished “Pop” of Kerin Parker of Wilmington, Lucas Markgren of Worcester, Derek Markgren and his wife Megan of Portland, ME, Katelyn Barcellos of Rutland, VT, and Stefany Barcellos of Wilmington, dear son of the late Carl and Gladys (Wood) White, brother of Jacqueline White of Rutland, VT, the late Arthur White of Danby, VT and Doris Nelson of Iowa.  Les is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service in the Wilmington United Methodist Church, 87 Church St. (Rt. 62), Wilmington, MA 01887 on Tuesday, January 8th at 11:00 a.m. Visiting hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rt. 62), Wilmington, on Monday, January 7th from 3-7 p.m.  In lieu of flowers donations in Lester’s memory may be made to the Wilmington United Methodist Church.


12 Entries in Guest Book for “Lester E. White”

  1. Brenda and Paul Reed says:

    Many wonderful memories with Les and Barbara, cross country skiing…. Also with Cindy and Mike.. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all , your Dad and Mom.. Great memories ,, a great Man.. Fondly, Paul and Brenda

  2. John & Kathy Cleary says:

    A man and a family who left a wonderful and lasting impact on all they encountered. Les touched many with a smile, a laugh and especially through his generous love for others.. I think of him often and the positive impact he has had on me in my youth … it always leaves me with a smile.

  3. Ken and Ellie Cleary says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara and her family. The loss of an old friend is never easy. He will be missed.

  4. Barbara Reinhart says:

    Nancy, I’m so sorry to learn of your father’s passing. I have fond memories of hanging out at your house and having great conversations with your dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  5. Frank and Karen West says:

    To the family of Les White-

    Both Karen and I are saddened by Les’s passing. We will keep both Les and youjr family in our prayers.
    With Deepest Sympathy-
    Karen and Frank West

  6. Chip Pappathan says:

    Cindy, we know how close you were to your Dad and just want you to know that you are in our thoughts as you and your family go through these difficult days.

    Our condolences,
    Chip & Kathy

  7. The Gigliotti Famly says:

    Mrs. White, Debbie, Nancy, Cindy and families,

    We are sorry for your loss. May your cherished memories help you through this sad time. Our thoughts and prays are with you.

    John and Joyce, Joanie, Florence, Maryann and Chuck

  8. Wayne Croswell says:

    Les was someone I had the privilege of knowing. He exemplified the core values of life. I have many fond memories all surrounding the Wilmington United Methodist Church, various boards we served on together, MYF trips/meetings/breakfasts and many a campfire with the “Hot Rivets”. Les was a “tell it like it is” guy, which I totally respected. My prayers to Barbara, Debi, Nancy, Cindy and the rest of your family.

  9. Carol Pennisi says:

    CIndy and family: I have so many memories of this great guy. Everyone should hope to leave such a great legacy, but his daughters and grandchildren exemplify his life lessons. Prayers to you

  10. Bob and Evelyn Buckley says:


    Evie and I are so sorry to hear of the passing of Les. He was one of the first people I met after joining Avco/Textron. He was a great guy and an exceptional leader in a very low-keyed way. He brought much to his company, his town and his family. Most of all, I remember how he and you were so obviously happy and pleased with those kids and grandkids.

    God speed Les.

    Bob and Evelyn Buckley

  11. nancy dewilde says:

    I just recently learned about Les. He was a good guy. I lost John Oct 2010. My best to Nancy, Cindy and Debi and of course to Barbara.
    I remember all of you fondly.

  12. Kate Barcellos says:

    My Pop was a pillar in his community, and his impact on our family is both unparalleled and golden. I remember snuggling on the couch watching The Grinch an eating popcorn, sitting on his shoulders so as to reach the sweetest apples in the orchard, and perching on his lap as he made Huevos Rancheros for the entire Hot Rivets group. My pop was a soulful and truly resplendent man filled with hope and pride, and immensity to behold. His hugs were those of a bear, his smiles shone love and instilled a renewed life in all who received and observed them. He would give you the shirt off his back in an instant, made the best maple sugar candy the world has ever known, and smoked the best brisket this side of the Mississippi. Pop, you are truly my giant, my idol, my guiding light, and my unfailing scaffold as I achieve everything I ever dreamed of. I love you, I always have, I always will, and none will ever compare to the true and wondrous man that you are. I am proud to say I am your granddaughter, and I came back to these mountains for you.

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