Lester Harrell Sanders, 98, of Benton, Arkansas, went to be with his Lord on January 12, 2020.
He was born August 29, 1921 in San Augustine, Texas to the late Willie and Etheal (Harrell) Sanders.
Lester was a WWII veteran who proudly served in the United States Army. During his enlistment, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze and Silver Star Attachment, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Honorable Service Lapel Button for WWII, Expert Badge and Rifle Bar, and the Sharpshooter Badge and Carbine Bar. His combat experience included action in the invasion of Omaha Beach on D-day+1 and the Battle of the Bulge. At the age of 81, Lester wrote his memoirs of WWII which were published in the Saline County History and Heritage Society Publication in 2004.
After years of farming in West Texas and working in construction, he retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 38 years. He enjoyed being outside working in his yard and gardening. Lester was a member of the First Baptist Church of Benton. He lived his faith in all things, exemplifying integrity, compassion, strength, optimism and extreme courage. Family was very dear to Lester and he cherished every moment he spent with them.
Preceding Lester in death are his beloved wife of sixty-one years, Edith Sanders; his parents; granddaughter, Alyson Elise Smith; son-in-law, Fred K. Smith; four sisters; and five brothers.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory two daughters: Martha Ann Freeman and husband Ray of Benton, Arkansas and Mary Nell Smith of Longview, Texas; grandchildren: Jeff Freeman, John Freeman, Christi Jones and wife Laurie, and Adam Smith and wife Stacy; great-grandchildren: Parker Freeman, Addison Jones, Stella Smith, and Lydia Smith; special family friend, Tom Trice; and a host of nieces, nephews, family members and friends who love Lester and will miss him always.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, January 17, 2020, at Thomas Cemetery, located off Hwy. 21 West near San Augustine, Texas.
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