Cover photo for Hugh Lester's Obituary
Hugh Lester Profile Photo
1938 Hugh 2022

Hugh Lester

April 12, 1938 — December 7, 2022

We are heartbroken to say that our beloved husband, daddy, granddaddy, brother,

uncle, and friend Hugh Hawkins Lester left us for Heaven on December 7, 2022.

Hugh was born on April 12, 1938, in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, to George Thomas

and Ellie Irene Lester. He grew up in Winterville, Georgia. Hugh graduated magna cum

laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration/accounting from the

University of Georgia in 1960, where he was also an active member of the US Air Force

ROTC and Phi Kappa Phi. Upon graduation, he entered the US Air Force where he

attended officer training and flight school. Hugh was both a pilot and a radar

navigator/bombardier on B52’s during his distinguished 20+ year career in the US Air


Hugh served almost three years on temporary duty, mainly in an air combat role, in

southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. He filled several leadership roles during his

tenure in the Air Force including Chief of the Bombing and Navigation Branch, Chief of

the 42 nd Bombardment Wing Operations Division, Director of Bomber Training and

Strategic Air Command Liaison Officer, and an instructor in many areas.

Hugh retired in 1985 as a Lieutenant Colonel from his last assignment at Nellis Air

Force Base and took a leadership position at Grumman Aerospace Corporation. He

returned to Nellis where he spent the remainder of his long career working on the Red

Flag Support Contract, as well as serving as training instructor and evaluator for the

Canadian Forces Cold Lake Base Maple Flag exercises.

Hugh obtained an MBA from Golden Gate University in 1981, again graduating magna

cum laude. He was also an instructor at the College of Southern Nevada teaching

accounting, management, organizational behavior, and business management reports.

Hugh was an intellect and never stopped learning. He was always reading, researching

topics of interest on his computer, or watching historical and scientific shows. He was

an avid University of Georgia Bulldogs fan and was looking forward to seeing them win

another national championship in football this season. Hugh was also an avid gardener

and had an impressive green thumb. His trees, plants, and flowers - especially roses

and bougainvillea - were gorgeous and the envy of the neighborhood.

Much more than his professional and academic accomplishments, Hugh’s greatest

contribution during his time with us was the exemplary way he lived his life. His core

traits of integrity, commitment, loyalty, honor and devotion to family were central to who

he was as a person. He was kind to everyone and never met anyone he couldn’t charm

with his southern hospitality and manners. His loss will forever leave a void to those

who loved him best – his wife of 62 years Maria, his children Luis (Norma), Mark

(Susan), Melissa (Chuck) and Teresa. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren and 18

great grandchildren, his brother Whit (Frances) in Georgia, and many nieces and


We know he is in a better place but will miss him with all our hearts until someday when

we meet again. A military honors service for Hugh will be held at the Southern Nevada

Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City on Thursday, December 22, 2022 at 10:40


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Hugh Lester, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Starts at 10:40 am (Pacific time)

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