Lester John Reschly, 85, of Columbia, Missouri, formerly of Wayland, IA, died Monday, February 17, 2020 at Lenoir Woods in Columbia, Missouri, following complications from pneumonia.
A family graveside service will be held at 2:00pm, Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Sugar Creek Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date in Columbia. In Lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established for the Lenoir Woods Benevolent Care Fund, 3710 Lenoir St., Columbia, MO 65201.
Lester was born May 12, 1934 in Wayland, Iowa, the son of Ervin and Esther (Roth) Reschly. As a child during the WWII war rationing, he, along with his older sister and brother, decided they wanted to make cherry pop, using all of their mother’s sugar. This inventive spirit lasted into adulthood.
He married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Mae Rubey on September 21, 1952, celebrating 67 years together. Their first two children, Deborah Suzanne and Jason Allen, came quickly.
After short stints at farming and draftsmanship, Lester supported the family while putting himself through veterinary school at Iowa State, co-owning a propane gas company. He practiced at Farragut and Red Oak, Iowa, where his daughter, Jolene Mae, was born. In 1966 he moved the family to Columbia, Missouri while he received his master’s degree at the University of Missouri Veterinary School.
He was a partner at Horton Animal Hospital for many years. He was active with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce; with his daughter’s 4-H club; as host family for an exchange student, Yvonne van der Pol, from the Netherlands; participated in several veterinary associations; and was president of the Missouri Sheep Association.
After selling his partnership interest, Les, with wife Shirley by his side, went a different direction. He eventually began working for the US Department of Agriculture in Oregon, Iowa and Missouri. He even used his expertise to combat foot and mouth disease in England and Newcastle disease in California. After September 11, he traveled for Homeland Security / LSU as an instructor on preparedness and response to terrorism.
Upon retirement Lester moved with Shirley to Lenoir Woods where they lived for 19 years. Les organized The Shepard’s of Lenoir to protect the residents during bankruptcy. He served on the LSS Finance Board after bankruptcy, and later served as President of the Resident’s Association. In addition, he organized Lenoir residents to volunteer at the local Food Bank.
For the last few years Les has suffered the effects of Parkinson’s disease, and has been blessed by the love and care of his devoted wife, and the staff of the Winwood neighborhood.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley, of Columbia, MO; children: Debbie of Columbia, MO, Jason of Overland Park, KS, and Jolene of Glendale, CA; youth exchange daughter Yvonne and family; siblings: Mary Cross of Oklahoma, David (Doot) of Toledo, OH, sister-in-law: Vicki Reschly of Denver, CO, Mark (Linda) of Cedar Rapids, IA; and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding Lester in death were his parents, and siblings Ann Martin (Sam) of Nappanee, IN, Christian of Denver, CO, sister-in-law: Mable Reschly, and niece: Mary Martin.