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LESTER MICHAEL ZEHR
August 14, 1933 ~ September 21, 2013
Lester Michael Zehr, 80, loving husband, father, and grandpa, passed away peacefully on Sept. 21, 2013 in Vancouver, WA. He was born on Aug. 14, 1933 in Alden, NY to Lawrence and Freida (Kipfer) Zehr. Les graduated from high school in Adams, NY where he played football, basketball and baseball. He especially loved baseball.
After high school, Les joined the Air Force. He served for four years as a radio operator. He spent time in Korea during the Korean War.
When Les was discharged from the Air Force, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Masters degree in Counseling and Guidance, both from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA. He received certification for Washington State Counseling and Guidance and earned Administrative Credentials.
Les worked as an educator and coach in Washington for thirty years in Washougal, Prosser, Peshastin-Dryden, West Valley of Yakima and Yakima School District. He was an elementary counselor in West Valley School District where he began the first Elementary Counseling Program, a Vocational Counselor at A.C. Davis High School in Yakima, and was Director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps Program during summer months. He completed his career as principal of Robertson Elementary in Yakima.
In 1995 Les and Marilyn moved from Yakima to Vancouver where he spent many happy hours on the golf course with his friends. Les and Marilyn played many courses while traveling throughout the United States and while spending winters in Arizona. In 1990 he realized a life's dream of climbing the Great Wall of China. He was able to travel to several countries and greatly enjoyed every trip. He loved being part of his grandchildren's lives and tried to attend their many school and sporting events.
Les' family wishes to thank John and Lidia Ursu of Royal Sunrise Adult Care for the loving care they and their children provided to Les during his final brave journey with Alzheimer's Disease. They also want to thank the Kaiser Hospice Doctors and Nurses for their compassionate care.
Les is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marilyn Jordan Zehr; sons, Ted (Heather), Greg (Sheila) and Mike; eight grandchildren, Danielle, Brian, Amanda, Jake, Sam, Adam, Carter and Max; his brother, Clayton; sisters, Violet Cote and Charlotte (Bruce) Klingelsmith, all of New York.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his sister, Donna.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 12513 SE Mill Plain Boulevard on Sat., Oct. 12 at 11:30.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Kaiser Hospice, 2701 NW Vaughn, Portland, OR 97210.
Please sign his guestbook at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on Oct. 6, 2013