Lynne Ann Lester passed from her earthly journey at the age of 74 on May 8, 2017. Lynne was born on August 1, 1942 in St. Louis, Missouri to Helen and Harroll McElmurry. Lynne is survived by her daughters Elizabeth Dumville (husband David), Lynda Giles (husband Joseph, "Gator"), and Susan Wannemacher (husband Eric). She is also survived by her brother Michael McElmurry (wife Christie) and sister Patrice McCully Cherico (husband Brian). Her brother Harroll (Hal) McElmurry predeceased her in 1981.
Lynne was a loving grandmother to 13 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Her grandchildren include: Matthew Craig, Ryan Craig, Corey Craig, Kevin Craig, Luke Giles, Summer Giles, Sandy Giles, Maggie Giles, Jacob Wannemacher, Rose Wannemacher, Charlie Wannemacher, Seth Wannemacher, Sage Wannemacher and her great granddaughter Ainsley Craig. Her loving grandson Garrett Giles predeceased her.
Lynne was also a caring Aunt to Lisa Averbeck, Kelly Hallard, Sean McCully, Brian McCully and Tricia McGuire.
As a young girl, Lynne took up modeling and enjoyed working at a local toy store while finishing high school. She caught the eye of David Lester and was married shortly thereafter. Lynne and David had their first child, David and then moved to Virginia, where they welcomed Elizabeth Ann into the world. Lynne's daughter Lynda joined the active and growing family before they relocated in 1964 to Panama City, Florida. Lynne and David introduced their youngest blessing, their daughter, Susy, to the family after they moved to Florida. Lynne's focus was filled with her girls' lives, such as their first communions, school events, parties, friends, frenzy and fun.
Business and career opportunities added several stops along the way. Lynne and her family also spent time in Melbourne, and Stone Mountain, Georgia, before returning to Winter Haven and Largo Florida. Lynne settled in St. Petersburg in the 1980's.
Sadly, Lynne and the family also endured two tragic losses during these early years.
Lynne's first child, son David, who brought endless joy to her life, passed away as a one year old infant. Lynne's fourth child, son Kevin Lester, who was loved and cherished by the family, also suffered an untimely death at three and a half years of age. She was relentless in her care for her sons and would travel to the University of Florida in Gainesville to seek medical treatment and care for Kevin.
Lynne Lester always had time for her siblings and parents while raising her family. She and her growing family built life-long memories around holidays and other important school and social events that always included her siblings, parents and friends. These memories became an anchor for not just her children and grandchildren but also for her siblings and their children. Lynne always displayed a patience and grace that infused these family gatherings with life, laughter and joy. She has always been our extended family's gentle but firm anchor. She provided all of us with strength as solid as the metal that holds a great ship in place while providing the grace and serenity to weather the waves and storms that sometimes challenge our lives.
With deliberation, determination and grit, she transformed her 'care giving' nature into a full-time career of service, graduating with the high honors, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of South Florida in 1983. With her degree in hand, Lynne devoted her career to guiding high school students. Student guidance became another extension of her caring nature. Lynne also continued as a constant source of support for Susy, her youngest daughter, as she finished her High School years. During these years, she also had the great fortune to meet Mary Diamond, who became her dearest lifelong friend.
Lynne's intellect built an enduring sense of curiosity in her children to take on whatever responsibility and educational opportunity they faced.
While Lynne worked and supported Suzy she was very involved in the Blessed Trinity community. It is no wonder as her children were beginning and growing their lives she turned to not only giving to her grandchildren she also devoted more time to those who could not help themselves. Blessed Trinity and the Catholic community provided a path where she could extend herself through the St. Vincent DePaul service group and other charitable organizations selflessly. As she continued to build upon her career of service, her avocation of church service blossomed. She was never one to boast about all the ways in which she extended herself to others, she just went about the business of serving others, quietly, selflessly and anonymously. Her dedication to her faith and church community earned the distinguished honor of the Blessed Trinity Parish Medal of Honor.
Despite life's demands Lynne always demonstrated a sense of adventure. She would find adventure for her and her children and family throughout her life. She would travel with her children to St. Petersburg to share time with her parents and siblings. These visits held special memories for her children. She welcomed the opportunity to travel and explore the world with her grandchildren. In her later years, she enjoyed traveling to many different countries with her brother and his wife, her "cruising" friend May Diamond, and friends in her church community.
Just as she was an anchor for so many, her life was anchored in family, church community, devotion, grace and love.
I lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Lynne's favorite charity, St. Vincent de Paul Society.
The family will be having a gathering after the Mass at:
St. Joseph's Catholic Church
2101 22nd Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712