Obit: Gamel, Lester A. #2 (1918 - 2008)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Gamel, Wegner, Stangl, Buskirk, Yeager-Morris

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) March 5, 2008

Gamel, LESTER A. (16 June 1918 - 28 February 2008)

Lester A. Gamel, 89, of Granton died Thursday, February 28, 208, at The House of Doves Hospice in Marshfield. He is survived by his wife Evelyn currently residing at the Memorial Health and Rehabilitation Center in Neillsville.

Lester was born June 16, 1918, in Holt County, NE. He left school upon graduating eighth grade in order to work a variety of jobs on farms and ranches as well as to trap and hunt, insuring the sufficiency of his family. In later years, Lester worked on and led thrashing crews that traveled throughout the Midwest, further contributing to the care of his mother, brothers and sisters after the death of his father in 1938.

In 1941, Lester joined the Armed Forces to serve his country during WWII and became a member of the 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Division. Departing from Fort Leavenworth, KS, in July of 1941, his mission routed from Hawaii and stemmed into the South Seas. Wounded in June of 1945, awarded a purple heart and ranked as Staff/Sergeant, his commission ended honorably. Lester saw combat in the Marshall, Philippines, Awautu, Aleutians, Okinawa and Kyukyus Islands.

Upon discharge in October 1945 and returning to Nebraska, Lester met and wed his beautiful bride, Evelyn June Wegner, March 2, 1946. In 1947, his first daughter Laura Lee Ann was born and in 1951 Carol Ann. He worked the stockyards in Ewing, NE, owned by his father-in-law, worked his mother’s farm and ran his own farm. After his mother’s death in 1954, Lester moved his family into Ewing and began working in a local lumberyard but eventually left, becoming a full-time gas transport truck driver. Though his traveling took him into many states of various climates and scenery, Lester fell in love with Wisconsin. In 1956, he moved his family and ran a dairy farm south of Neillsville. Over the next 13 years, Lester also raised sheep, hogs and chickens, worked for Tesmer and Gaier Construction and Ellis & Volz Cranberry and was also blessed with his third daughter; Susan Ann, in 1964. Five years later, in 1969, the farm was sold and the family moved to rental property in the vicinity of Sherwood. Lester earned his living in pulping as a woodsman and for his good friend, Bernard Kling, as an independent cutter before and after moving into Granton. For three years Lester also worked for Sullivan Construction in Wisconsin Rapids until his health began to fail due to an on-the-job accident. He returned to independent pulping and cutting until his second stroke forced full retirement in 1990 at the age of 72.

Lester loved and respected all that was of nature. He was in awe of the beauty and creations in the woods, the waters and the sky. With the deepest of patience to encourage and wait for a chickadee or butterfly to sit on his sleeve and marvel at the moment, so was his impatience for those who took for granted or abused the innocent, meek, docile and majesty of the Lord’s miraculous creations.

A living memorial is planned for planing in the spring. Donations of living plants or gift cards to contribute to this endeavor will be greatly appreciated. Lester will be sorrowfully missed by all those that truly knew and loved him.

Lester is survived by his wife, Evelyn; daughters, Carol Gamel and Susan Stangl; two brothers, Edward and Sanford; and three sisters, Irene, Etta and Shirley; six grandchildren, Bryon, Samantha, FrankieJohnn, RitaJane, Kari and Crystal; and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father Harvey Sanford Gamel; mother, Minnie Cora (Buskirk) Gamel; two sisters, Baby Bessie and Francis; one brother, Pat; and daughter, Laura Lee Yeager-Morris.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 8, at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville to celebrate the blessedness of his life. The family will begin receiving guests at 10:15 a.m. and extends an invitation for refreshments before and a small brunch after the Honor Guard presentation at the end of the service.



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