May 23, 2019


Goodbye to an old friend - John Lester (his family has had a rough year)

Goodbye to an old friend – John Lester (his family has had a rough year)


by Brian Coll

I feel odd writing by Brian Coll, when John only called me Butch.

John Lester was born and raised in Conshy. He went to Plymouth Whitemarsh, graduated in 1994. those are the stats, too bad the stats don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the good guy he was. Good father, good friend and while I can’t speak for his wife and call him a good husband I have to imagine he was just based on all the conversations when he spoke glowingly of her.

John and I go back, saw each other a little bit through our high school years even though we went to different schools we always had friends in common. Some of his old school friends are really hurting right now along with his brother Jerry (more on Jerry soon). We’d see each other and hang out at parties over the years in our early 20’s and some of my favorite years working at any job other than my own business came with a rag tag bunch of guys from Conshy who would jump in an old bread truck driven by Kevin Lesher. We did moving jobs all over the area. There were guys of all ages with this crew and somehow we all got along. Told stories to each other and surprisingly no matter our ages it seemed all the stories could make all the guys laugh no matter what generation was telling it. After all we all probably fished in the Schuykill River at one point or another, all drank beer at one of the old school dive bars back in the day and so on. John and his buddy Benny Mosakowski, when they were working together some of the stories these guys told would crack everyone up. They played together in a band every once in awhile at Toad’s Tavern. After our moving days, John and his brother Jerry worked for Del Bouno contracting and learned the roofing trade.

John and his brother Jerry helped renovate the Colonial Neighborhood Council a few years when they were working together as the Lester Brothers. Jerry is still in business and has done various projects in the area. We actually included John and Jerry in our 2012 a year in photos book.

John (center) along with his brother Jerry checking out the CNC with Don Heebner (president of the Colonial Neighborhood Council)

John and I got to talk a lot over the past 10 years or so and I always enjoyed his stories, his sly smile and honestly the way he enjoyed his time with his family. He recently helped coach his sons in sports and was very proud of his boys. He was always very nice to my kids and when I got the news of his passing I was putting my son to sleep and had a really hard time imagining what his family must be feeling. While his sons are in their teens, it’s never easy losing your dad.

John’s brother Jerry and their best friend growing up Ben, have started a GoFundMe for John’s family. John leaves behind a wife, and two good young men.

From the bottom of my heart, if you throw a few bucks in, I know the family thanks you. If you simply read this and feel for his family they appreciate that as well. John and Jerry lost both of their parents within a few months of each other last year. It has been a very difficult past couple of years.

John, the world just won’t be the same without your smile, you were a really good guy and I’m going to miss you.

Here is the official obituary with details on his services:

John J. Lester, 43, of Lansdale, formerly of Conshohocken, died suddenly on March 10, 2019 after injuries from a car accident. He was the beloved husband of 20 years to Minerva (Victoria) Lester. He was born in Norristown, PA on October 21, 1975 to the late Gerald J. Lester, Sr. and Madeline (Duber) Lester. John was a graduate of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School class of 1994. He was currently employed as a Store Manager at Aaron’s, Inc. John was a hard worker and a family man; he was a happy and positive person to be around. He also loved music, writing poetry, and playing his guitar. In his younger years, he played in a band at some local venues. He was a devoted husband, father, brother and friend, and mostly enjoyed spending time with his family. In addition to his wife Minerva, he is survived by two sons John J. Lester and Gerald J. Lester, his brothers Gerald J. Lester, Jr. and Michelle Mashintonio of Conshohocken, a niece Makayla Lester and a nephew Michael Lester. Relatives and friends are invited to a Visitation from 6-7:30 p.m. followed by a Memorial Service at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2019 at the Emil J. Ciavarelli Family Funeral Homes & Crematory, 516 Fayette St., Conshohocken, PA 19428. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions to help the family with funeral expenses can be sent to the Emil J. Ciavarelli Family Funeral Home at the above address. Condolences may be made at

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