Lester Charles Jehnke, age 92, passed away August 30, 2020, in Harrison, Arkansas. He was born April 4, 1928, in Elmhurst, Illinois, to Frederick and Marjorie (Graham) Jehnke. Harold McIntosh was a special stepfather. Lester married Mary on April 12, 1961.
Lester grew up and graduated high school in Illinois. He was on the wrestling and football teams. Lester attended college at Elmhurst College where he played football. As a 17-year-old, Lester enlisted in the Marine Corps and was stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He fought in World War ll and was on stand-by for The Korean War. Lester was very proud of his service in the Marines. He was an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps, where Lester earned various medals for his service. Lester remained connected to his Marine buddies by attending reunions while in his 70’s and 80’s.
Lester settled into his first and lifetime career as a jeweler, (56 years). He repaired, designed, and crafted all types of jewelry. He was always excited to gift the girls in the family with a special ‘papa gift’ at Christmas. He retired in 2006 and he and Mary moved to Harrison in 2007.
Lester enjoyed pumping iron, watching wrestling, college football, strong-man contests, and Fox News. Lester was an avid Notre Dame Fighting Irish Fan. He and Mary enjoyed traveling in and out of the U.S. He loved being around family. Later in life when he couldn’t hear very well, he would still enjoy watching each person’s expressions and being amongst everyone.
Lester was a faithful member of Mary Mother of God Catholic Church.
Lester is survived by his wife, Mary Jehnke of the home, Daughter Debbie (Mark) of Harrison, 2 Grandsons: Kyle (Lindsay) of Olathe, Kansas and Kindall (Hanna) of Joplin, Missouri. Two Great-Grand-Daughters: Violette of Olathe, Kansas and Caroline of Joplin, Missouri. A Niece: Carole Fandrich of Montana. He leaves behind family and friends who love him very much. Lester was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters, Eileen and Shirley.
A visitation will be held 10-11am, Saturday, September 5, prior to a memorial mass at 11am at Mary Mother of God Catholic Church in Harrison, Arkansas. Father Fanrak will be officiating. (Masks are required, and the church is marked for social distancing. Military Honors will be presented. Interment will be in Roller Cemetery in Mountain Home at a later date.
Donations may be made to: Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 162, Harrison, AR. 72601, or Ruby’s Wishes, 102 W. Stephenson Ave. Harrison, AR. 72601.