Life Story / Obituary
An honest, forthright, and hardworking man, Lester Hall was an extraordinary man to know and love. Upon meeting him, it didn’t take long to discover that his life was rooted in something different, something deeper, and that something was his faith. Lester was never overbearing or boisterous in his faith, rather, he exemplified what it means to live a life of faith through the choices he made each day. He was a devoted family man whose children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were his greatest source of pride and joy. Les will be deeply missed, but his timeless legacy will be carried on by all those who follow in his footsteps.
The decade that is often recalled as the Roaring Twenties was a time when innovation led the way to technology that transformed the way we lived our daily lives. Jazz music, the Charleston, and motion pictures in both color and sound colored the cultural fabric of our nation while Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb made baseball America’s favorite pastime. It was just as this decade was drawing to a close that Alfred and Nancy (Murrell) Hall were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as the heat of the summer held Booneville, Kentucky, firmly in its grip in 1928. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named Lester drew his first breath on August 3rd. He was the third of five children and was raised on the family tobacco farm alongside his older siblings, Melvin and Edna, and his younger siblings, Virgil and Janie.
In many ways, Lester was a young boy of his generation. Growing up on a farm meant that there was plenty of work to go around, especially because his father was blind and his mother was wheelchair bound. Les worked hard on the farm, and because his sister, Janie, took charge of many of the household duties they became very close working in conjunction with one another. When Janie wanted to attend the prom, it was Lester who took her to town to buy her dress and shoes. The farm was the center of family activity, and many extended family members lived nearby so they often gathered all together. Les also enjoyed the companionship of his dog, Buster.
As a young man Lester was eager for all that life had in store. He spent some time serving in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany, however, it was after returning that life soon became very exciting. Les took a job with General Motors in Hamilton, Ohio, and later worked in Marion, Indiana, which is where he met the young woman of his dreams in 1963. Her name was Nancy Jo Bales, and she was working as a nurse at the time. Sparks flew right from the start, and they began dating. Deeply in love, Les and Nancy Jo were married on September 7, 1963. The newlyweds had a honeymoon spent driving Nancy's brand new, 1963 green Chevy Impala to the Atlantic Coast.
The newlyweds returned home and purchased a new home in Jonesboro, Indiana. When Les was later transferred to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to get a new plant underway, they moved in 1965. They then moved to their current home on Golfview where they raised their family that had grown to include four children, Joel, Leslie, Bruce, and Brian. Their family was given a tough pill to swallow with the death of Les and Nancy’s son, Joel. This was a loss that never became easier to bear.
Lester made a career at General Motors over 38 years. He had a secure job and a stable income that allowed Nancy to be home with the kids. He loved coming home to see his family, and at times he and Nancy were also able to head to Dunkin’ Donuts with a group of people for coffee and a donut after his shift.
In addition to his family, Lester’s faith was a cornerstone in his life. He was a longtime member of the Assembly of God church including attending services at Schoolcraft Assembly of God for several years where he also served as an elder. Les made sure that the children attended church, too. He read his Bible on a daily basis and found such comfort and peace from reading the book of Psalms. On Christmas Eve he read the Christmas story from the Bible to make sure the family would remain focused on the true meaning of the season.
Les was always all about family. He and his sister, Janie, talked weekly on the phone throughout his life, and he also kept in close contact with his brother, Virgil. After retiring, grandchildren became the center of their universe, and both he and Nancy Jo were there for all their events and activities. As his family and friends can attest, Lester was an avid fan of the Cincinnati Reds and was always listening to their games on the radio even if that meant that he was listening in his car in order to get the best signal. He liked to play cards, primarily Rook, and he was also a pool shark who played two nights a week in a league. After retiring he took up golf, and Les was highly competitive while out on the course.
In addition to losing his son, Les also faced other trials in his life, yet his resolve never wavered. He was deeply saddened with the death of his beloved wife in 2012, and shortly thereafter he moved out of their home into assisted living. As his own health declined, Les never complained and always said he was fine whether he truly was or not.
Likable, generous, and friendly are just a few of the words that describe Lester Hall. He was all about faith and family while living fully in the moments he was given. Les was never concerned about the things of this world, rather, he was focused on deeply loving his family and friends. Having lived through the Great Depression, Les rarely threw anything away, and he saved whatever money he could to plan for whatever may come. Known for his attention to detail, his unending love for his family, and his sustaining faith, he will be deeply missed and forever remembered by all who were blessed to be within his reach.
Lester Hall died on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Lester’s family includes his three children: Leslie Gayle Hall (Gina Perry), Bruce Merrill (Lisa) Hall, Brian Michael (Pat) Hall; five grandchildren: Brooke, Katie, Jessica, Collin, and Lindsay; great-grandchildren: Bradley , Emmerson, Addy and Kya ; sister Janie Hamilton; several nieces and nephews. Les was preceded in death by his son, Joel, and his wife, Nancy Jo Hall. Funeral Services will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2015, at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive. The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. on the day of the service. Please visit Lester’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guest book before coming to the funeral home.