Lester Lee Green

Lester Lee Green passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, on April 29, 2012. A long-time resident of Cortez, he had recently relocated to Heber, Utah. Lester was born Jan. 18, 1921 in Vilas, Colo., and traveled to Cortez with his family in a covered wagon. He loved the Cortez area, and even as a young man, decided it would be the place where he would retire. He bought property in the 1940s and planned to someday return, even though his travels took him to California and Las Vegas, Nev., where he worked first for the Santa Fe Railroad and then for the Union Pacific Railroad. He retired from Union Pacific Railroad after working as a mechanical foreman. He stayed true to his desire to return to Cortez, and upon his retirement in 1979, moved there with his family, where he also returned to his love of working with horses and tinkering with anything mechanical.

Lester served as a First Scout in Patten’s Third Army in World War II, an experience that was just the beginning of a life in service of others. His quiet, humble demeanor couldn’t hide his depth of character, his pure goodness, and his incredible strength. Everyone who was blessed to know him came away from that encounter a better person, with the sure conviction that they had just met a truly good man. He leaves the world a better place because he was here and touched so many lives during his 91 years.

Lester is survived by his wife, Elsie and daughter, Jennifer (Green) Brown of Heber City, Utah; daughter Ann Garcia of Cortez; daughter Mari Taschinger of Groves, Texas; son James Yonker of Lincoln, Neb.; and many grandchildren, both natural, and those he “adopted” as his own: Crystal Smith, Ricky Dunston, Gilbert Dunston, Morgan (Brown) Donovan, Michael Brown, David Brown, Deirdre (Taschinger) Fields, Stephanja (Tashinger) Ahumada, Marianna Taschinger, Judah Tashinger, Tiffany Yonker, Brent Yonker, Brandon Yonker, Cheyenne Bilderback, Cory Bilderback, and Termaine Yazzie; brothers Verl Green from Indian Rocks, Fla., and Jerry Green of Georgetown, Texas; and by sister Velma Weaver, also in Texas.

A memorial service to celebrate Lester’s life will be held on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 11 a.m. at the First Assembly of God Church in Cortez.