Thomas James (T.J.) Lester, age 69, of Erie passed away Monday, February 18, 2019, following an extended illness. He was born December 24, 1949 in New London, CT the son of the late Richard and Marjorie (Wood) Lester. TJ grew up in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire and graduated high school in 1967. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1969 and for ten years worked as a chef throughout New England.
In April of 1979 he went to work for the Deaton Kennedy Co. selling a variety of products to the funeral industry.
In 1989 TJ and his wife Susanne purchased the Louis A. Pick Funeral Supplies Co. and changed the name to Lester and Co. To this day, they continue serving funeral directors throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York.
As members of the Erie Yacht Club, T.J. and Susanne sailed their 38 foot C&C “Dancer” to many ports throughout the Great Lakes.
He loved living on the lake and enjoyed watching its many seasonal changes as well as bird watching from his backyard. He also enjoyed gardening, tending to his yard when not on the road traveling for business and spending time with his wife at their Hilton Head home.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Sally Lester.
TJ is survived by his wife Susanne (Fohrhaltz) Lester; his brother, John Lester of Warren, NH and his sister, Merry Lester of Steamboat Springs, CO.
Friends are invited to call at the Quinn Funeral Home, West 9th & Liberty St. on Friday from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM at which time a Memorial Service will be held. Burial will be private.
T.J. belonged to the Zem Zem Temple. The family asks that memorials be made to the Shriner’s Children Hospital, 1645 W.8th St., Erie, PA 16505.