Lester H. Smith, Jr., fondly known as “Smitty” or “Brother” to his family and friends, of Vero Beach, FL formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, MA, died peacefully with his family at his side on February 8, 2017; he was 84 years of age.
Lester was born and raised in Wilmington, MA; he was the dear son of the late Lester and Thora Smith. Lester was a graduate of Wilmington High School with the Class of 1950.
On January 22, 1953, Lester was inducted into the United States Army during the Korean War. He served overseas as a Corporal and was awarded the National Defense Medal as well as the Army occupation of Germany Medal. Lester was honorably discharged from active duty in January of 1955 and returned home to his family in Wilmington.
Lester was always a hard worker; in his early years he worked as a local milk man for Red Eaton, he was also a custodian at Wilmington High School, drove a school bus for the local kids, and ran his own paint and wallpapering business for many years. Lester took a position as a firefighter for the Wilmington Fire Department a job he loved and where he worked for more than 25 years. Les was very dedicated to his job as a firefighter and to serving the Town of Wilmington; he was a great worker and got along well with his fellow firefighters.
Lester married “his sweetheart” Ellen Brown on October 16, 1955; the couple made their home in Wilmington and raised three wonderful children; Mark, Cheryl, and Scott. Lester loved to work around the house and out in his yard; he was very handy, he enjoyed “puttering around” and doing his projects. Lester always kept himself busy and he kept his property in pristine condition. Lester also enjoyed the time he spent with his family, he was a very devoted husband, father, son, brother and a loving grandfather who adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lester loved his family unconditionally and was always there to lend a helping hand.
In the early 1980’s Lester and Ellen retired and moved to Vero Beach, Florida to get away from the New England winters and all of the snow. Lester was never one to sit still so he decided to start his own pressure washing business while in Florida; Lester had a great way with his customers and a meticulous work ethic which made his business quite a success.
Lester and Ellen made a wonderful home in Florida and many friends throughout the years; they always welcomed family to visit but they came home to Wilmington every year to visit their family and friends.
Lester was quite a sportsman and very athletic; for many years he played hockey and his favorite position was goalie. He also enjoyed watching and betting on Jai Alai; this was a fast paced and highly competitive sport.
In his spare time, Lester enjoyed going to the beach, traveling and vacationing with his family and friends; everyone always had a good time when they were with him.
Lester will be fondly remembered as a great guy who would do anything for anyone; he had a wonderful personality and would greet you with a big smile. Lester will be truly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Lester was the beloved husband of Ellen (Brown) Smith, devoted father of Mark Smith, father-in-law of Heidi Hall Smith of Vero Beach, FL, Cheryl Smith and Scott Smith & his wife Marybeth all of Wilmington. Loving “Papa” of Mark Jr., Alyssa, Nicole, Danielle, Samantha, Jaclyn, Derek, Shauna, and great-grandchildren Matthew, Brooklyn, Addison, and Myles. Cherished son of the late Lester H. and Thora (Christensen) Smith, dear brother of Ella Efraimson & her late husband Carl, Barbara Cleveland, and Douglas Smith & his wife Bonny all of Wilmington, the late Roland Smith and Shirley Boyer, brother-in-law of Eleanor Smith of Scituate. Lester is also survived by his nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will gather for a Funeral Service on Monday, March 13th at 11:00 a.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Sunday, March 12th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations in Lester’s memory may be made to the VNA & Hospice Foundation, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960