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J. Lester Stephens

3/7/1932 - 4/3/2018

PEKIN ~ J. Lester Stephens, 86, of Pekin, passed away at 9:34 a.m. Tuesday, April 03, 2018 at Amy's Country Manor in Pekin.
Born March 7, 1932 in Marion to Jacob A. and Ruth H. Turnage, he married Betty Louise Finney on June 21, 1958 in Marion.  She survives.
Also surviving are one son, Brad (Judy) Stephens of Hermitage, Tennessee; one daughter, Julie (John) Calio of Mattoon; two granddaughters, Jessica (Jeff) Eagan of Longmont, Colorado and Nikki (Kent) Wagenschutz of Peoria; three grandsons, Paul Calio of Chicago, Joe Calio of Normal, and Matthew Calio of Elgin; two great-grandchildren, Oren "Obi" Eagan and Guinevere "Guinny" Eagan, both of Longmont, Colorado; two sisters, Helena Bullock of Pekin and Mildred (Jim) Clark of Normal; and one brother, Walter (Meredith) Stephens of Bloomington.
He was preceded in death by his parents and five brothers, Ambrose, Ernest, Douglas, Lawrence and Franklin.
Lester had worked as a tool grinder for Caterpillar.  He retired in 1997 after 31 years of service.
He had served his country in the United States Navy.
Lester was a long time member of Liberty Baptist Church in Pekin, where he served as an adult men's Bible class teacher as well as other positions.  He was an avid reader of the Bible.  He went on several mission trips to Mexico.  He enjoyed woodworking, fishing trips to Minnesota and Canada, and being with family.  He would like to be remembered as being fair and honest, and he was known for his dry wit and sense of humor.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Amy, Debbie, and staff for their loving and caring environment at Amy's Country Manor.
Lester's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Liberty Baptist Church in Pekin.  Pastor Roger Lipe will officiate.  Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  Burial will be in Prairie Haven Cemetery in Pekin, where military honors will be provided by the United States Navy and the Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team.
Memorial contributions may be given to Liberty Baptist Church at 2105 Sheridan Rd. Pekin, IL 61554.