Folsom Funeral Service

Lester, George N.

George Nelson Lester III, a resident of Westwood since 1959, died Thursday, January 28, 2021 at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Needham. He was 92. George was born April 7, 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia, the only son of George N. Lester Jr. and Katherine Vaughan Lester. He grew up in Atlanta next to Emory University, and graduated from Druid Hills High School in Atlanta with the Class of 1945. He had a younger sister Kitsy. George is a WWII veteran, having enlisted in the United States Navy at age 17 immediately after finishing high school in 1945. He passed a test to enter Navy electronics school, and attended boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois Naval Training Station. While there, the War in the Pacific ended. George was then assigned to the Charleston Naval Base in Charleston, South Carolina, where he served honorably until discharge in 1946. George then attended Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology), where he earned his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree in 1950. He went on to a long and rewarding career in electrical engineering, starting with the Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co. where he was employed from 1950 to 1973, almost all of that time in the Power Circuit Breaker Division Plant in Hyde Park. The job also included significant time at the Allis-Chalmers manufacturing operations in Milwaukee, so George gained a love for that city as well. As a General Engineer with Allis-Chalmers, he worked in application, design and all types of testing. In 1973 he joined Charles T. Main, Inc. Engineers in Boston, where he worked on a number of HV and EHV power transmission and substation projects for clients in the US and overseas conducting switching transient and equipment application and evaluation studies. In 1985 he joined Boston Edison in the Substation Design Division and worked in a number of substation upgrade projects, until retirement in February 1996. George was based in Boston for his whole career, in Hyde Park with Allis-Chalmers and at the Prudential Center from 1973 on, with Chas. T. Main and Edison. Beginning in 1960, George participated in national standards committees of ANSI, IEEE and NEMA that were developing and refining standards for high voltage circuit breakers. He served as member and Chairman of a number of working groups of the PES (IEEE Power Engineering Society) including the Switchgear Committee and High Voltage Circuit Breaker Subcommittee. In the Boston Chapter of the IEEE PES he worked with the Education Committee and served as Chapter Treasurer. In 1994 he received the Laurence F. Cleveland Service Award from the Boston PES chapter. He became a Life Fellow of the IEEE in 1983, honored “For contributions to the standardization, design, and application of high-voltage power circuit breakers and to the understanding of transient switching of capacitor banks.” George traveled to many interesting US and international destinations for engineering projects and collaborations throughout the 1950s – 1980s including the UK for a year on exchange in 1951-52 (where he witnessed the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II), The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Iran and Argentina, bringing back fascinating stories and photographs. On April 14, 1956 he married Virginia Marie Bowen of Chickamauga, Georgia, after a romantic courtship that included visits between Georgia and Massachusetts. They lived in Canton initially. Then after the birth of their first son George in 1958, moved into a new house on Oak Street in Westwood in 1959 where they went on to raise a family and stay active in the community for the next 60+ years and where George was still living to the present. Oak Street was just a dirt road In the 1950s, but in the 1960s and 70s became a happy neighborhood bustling with young families and children, centered around the new Martha Jones Elementary School that opened in 1968. Their second son Albert was born in 1960. George actively participated in school and youth activities with George and Albert, particularly including leadership in scouting with Pack 504 and Troop 3. The family enjoyed summer vacations to Cape Cod, where George taught young George and Albert how to fish, and to visit family in Georgia. Family road trips included historical sites and national parks. After his son Albert, an aspiring teacher, was killed in a bicycling event by a teen drunk driver in 1992, George and Virginia spent many years active in speaking to high school and first offender settings across New England about the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. George also testified at the State House for reform in driver safety laws. They were involved in MADD and related advocacy and victim support groups. More recently George was very active with PIETA, a bereavement support group for parents who have suffered the loss of a child of any age, based in Walpole. George will be dearly missed by his grandsons Ben and Jake. Growing up in Medfield with George and Virginia close by, they enjoyed having George regularly attend school, scouting and athletic events, and frequent family dinners and fun activities. Ben and Jake particularly appreciated his help in science projects that involved electricity, including a light switch display that was designed to teach the difference between parallel and series circuits. They also remember his “granddad jokes” like asking if they wanted ketchup on their ice cream after dinner. Photography was one of George’s hobbies. He had quite a collection of camera and darkroom equipment, and fascinating historical pictures he had taken, including of Winston Churchill in London and of Fidel Castro when he stopped at Rt. 128 train station in Westwood on a US tour in 1959, which was published in the Boston Globe after Castro’s death in 2016. George remained active in Westwood community service right into his 90’s. He was an appointed member of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Committee for the Town of Westwood, a town committee charged with planning ways to help make Westwood a more “walkable” and “bikeable” community. He was a fixture at the committee’s table for Westwood Day with a creative electronic quiz board that showed off locations in town where bike and pedestrian friendly improvements had been made. Participating in a strong church community with regular worship was an important part of George’s life. He and Virginia were active members of the First Baptist Church of Westwood. George served as a Deacon and was the church Moderator up to the time of his death. He enthusiastically participated in all church activities; he enjoyed all the music, and he especially loved the performances of the First Baptist Bell Ringers. He was a regular bible reader for Sunday services and always offered insightful comments along with the passage. George felt supported, loved and “at home” in the First Baptist community. George was also active with the Westwood Council on Aging. George was the husband of the late Virginia M. (Bowen) Lester who predeceased him in 2017; the father of the late Albert B. Lester; and the brother of the late Katherine “Kitsy” Mostellar. He is survived by his son, George N. Lester IV, and George IV’s wife Blanche Teyssier, of Medfield, and two grandsons, Albert Benjamin Lester II of Madison WI and Jake Whitney Lester of Hardwick VT. A graveside service with Military Honors will be held Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 1:00 PM at the New Westwood Cemetery. The public is invited to attend (but please call ahead because there is a 25 person limit) or watch by livestream at In lieu of flowers, donations to the First Baptist Church, 808 High St, Westwood, MA 02090, the Friends of the Westwood Council on Aging, 60 Nahatan St., Westwood, MA 02090 or the Friends of the Westwood Public Library, 660 High St, Westwood, MA 02090 would be appreciated.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Catherine Macris
    January 31st, 2021 | 4:22 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Lorraine Butler
    January 31st, 2021 | 9:27 pm

    He is now resting in peace

  3. Leonard & Gerri Teyssier
    February 1st, 2021 | 12:43 pm

    Dear George, Blanche and Benjamin & Jake,

    Wonderful memories of spending special occasions with George & Virginia.
    Our deepest condolences at a very sad time.
    Our love to you, Grandpa Leonard & Gerri

  4. William & Cecilia Mostellar
    February 1st, 2021 | 9:06 pm

    Many fond memories of Uncle George. I’m continually amazed at all he accomplished while maintaining a humble and servant heart. Our entire family will miss him but always remember him.

  5. Clara teyssier
    February 1st, 2021 | 11:58 pm

    So sorry to hear of George Lester senior passing.
    He was quite the amazing individual.
    My best to you always,

  6. Sapna Annicelli
    February 2nd, 2021 | 9:26 am

    We are so sorry for your loss. We are thinking of you during this difficult time.

  7. Alice Harra
    February 2nd, 2021 | 12:01 pm

    George, Blanche, Ben, and Jake,
    Uncle George was a kind, smart, caring man with a quick laugh and good questions. I know you will miss him and I will, too. With sympathy and love,

  8. Arnold Clickstein
    February 2nd, 2021 | 4:16 pm

    My condolences to the Lester Family.

  9. February 3rd, 2021 | 9:09 am

    Dear George, Blanche, Ben and Jake
    May the memories and gifts of an extraordinary man, a sparkling father and grandfather, and citizen of the world continue to power the light that shines on our world. Goodbye to a life well lived.
    Gaby and Warner and the extended Harrison Family

  10. Anne Rowley Roskom
    February 3rd, 2021 | 3:47 pm

    Thinking of your family as you navigate this hard time, and so grateful there are so many fond memories for you to reflect on while you mourn George Sr.‘s passing.
    With sympathy,

  11. Rhea, Sam, & Ed Eskew
    February 3rd, 2021 | 7:44 pm

    We were sad to hear about George. Rhea knew him his whole life and always enjoyed his (and Virginia’s) conversation, and genuine interest in other people. His gentle and calm manner and his delight in his family stand out in our minds. His was a life well-lived. Our condolences to George, Blanche, Ben, and Jake.

  12. Neil Clark
    February 3rd, 2021 | 10:27 pm

    On behalf of Hostelling International USA, and its former Eastern New England Council Board:

    Our condolences to the family. We fondly remember both George and Virginia, and Albert before them, as true friends of the spirit of hostelling. We were fortunate to have had the benefit of their leadership and generosity .

    Neil Clark
    Deborah Ruhe
    John Yonce

  13. Marv and Chong Mostellar
    February 3rd, 2021 | 11:13 pm

    Uncle George will be dearly missed by family, friends, colleagues, and community.
    A treasure to all who knew him here, he has been called home to brighten other shores. Peace be with us all until we meet again.

  14. Pieta Core Group
    February 4th, 2021 | 12:18 am

    On behalf of Pieta, we want to express our sincere sympathy to George’s family. George was a faithful member of our group for many years offering ongoing comfort and support to newly bereaved parents at our monthly meetings. He would offer additional support between meetings by writing notes, calling , or emailing. He was a role model for bereaved parents, teaching by example how to grieve in a healthy way and to move forward and lead a productive life. He was a man of wisdom who provided us with poems, sayings, and articles which were encouraging and inspirational. His passing will leave a void in our group. We will always remember him. In honor of George, we will continue to provide support to newly bereaved parents. His light will continue to shine!

  15. Louise Rachin & Duncan Glover
    February 4th, 2021 | 2:53 pm

    That was a beautiful service in celebration of George Senior’s life. We are honored to have been able to attend online.

  16. Saundra L O'Malley
    February 5th, 2021 | 10:07 am

    That was a wonderful service for a wonderful man. He was definitely high voltage and will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, George. Prayers to your family.

  17. Richard S. McKinney
    February 6th, 2021 | 6:33 pm

    My deepest condolences to the entire Lester clan, our families have been connected for many years through school, Scouts & sports. I have many fine memories of both your parents from Blue & Golds, Meetings and Eagle Courts of Honor. Your father was a fine gentleman and your entire family is blessed to have been able to have him in your lives for so long, and I’m very sure he was very proud of all the accomplishments across the board of all of you.
    Lisa and I wish I could have attended the service, Your mothers was so touching. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  18. Gloria Bryant Norris
    February 12th, 2021 | 12:58 pm

    How blessed those of us are who knew George and the wonderful Lester family! George’s sister, Kitsy, and I were close friends since we were five years old and I cherish every memory of time spent in the delightful Lester home! George was at Georgia Tech when I fist knew him and I had a treasured short visit with him at the lovely service for Kitsy several years ago. George was always the perfect Christian gentleman, always interested in others, and an inspiration to all of us privileged to have known him.
    With happy memories of George and the entire Lester Family,
    Gloria Bryant Norris

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service