LTC (Ret.) Richard “Rick” Lester, 74, of Marietta, GA. passed away Tuesday, December 13, 2022, in
Austell, GA surrounded with love from family and friends.
Rick is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jane Lester of Marietta, GA; children Taryn Coleman (Ryan) and
Lt. Col. Jonathan Lester (Bethany); grandchildren Avery and Roman Lester; mother, Betty Lester of
Warner Robins, GA, and beloved extended family. He is preceded in death by his father, MSgt. Stanley
Lester; and brothers Jim and Stan Lester.
Born in Marietta, GA in 1948, Rick spent his childhood in the heart of historic downtown Marietta and in
St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada before his father’s military career brought the family back to Georgia
where Rick graduated from Warner Robins High School in 1966. There he married the love of his life and
best friend Jane in 1971, and together they traveled the world, recently celebrating their golden wedding
A true patriot and decorated soldier, Rick served his country heroically in the United States Army and
retired honorably after 26 years. Rick was an attack helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, with multiple
tours of duty in Vietnam, Korea, and Germany. He received numerous awards for distinguished service
and exemplary achievement, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, and the
Bronze Star Medal.
Rick held his military service remarkably close to his heart and he became a member of several
esteemed veterans organizations including the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association (AVVBA)
where he established memorials to honor fallen warriors, and supported the USO and the Veterans
Scholarship Program. He was also a member of the Atlanta History Center, and through the AVVBA, he
helped curate Veterans Park at the Atlanta History Center and led the 2013 “sacred soil” dedication
ceremony to honor veterans of all major conflicts who fought for our country’s freedom.
Adventure remained a theme in Rick’s life after retirement, and he was often the first to respond to the
scene of an incident which is why he answered his phone, “Adventure Headquarters!” He and son
Jonathan were recognized for heroic efforts after rendering emergency first aid to victims of the 1996
Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bombing. In 2008 Rick appeared as an interview subject and served as
a consultant for the Discovery Military Channel documentary TV series, Battlefield Diaries. A natural
marketer and music lover with a knack for business development, Rick also became involved in the
launch of electronic percussion business, Zendrum, and a partner in Burnt Hickory Brewery in Kennesaw,
Rick was a historian at heart and he embraced the opportunity to share his experiences with others. A
gifted writer, public speaker and master storyteller with a zest for adventure and never a shortage of
words to describe his experiences, Rick captivated audiences and inspired the very best in everyone he
interacted with. Rick carried an enormous presence and he had a magnetic way of connecting with
people. His amazing sense of humor and engaging personality made it easy for him to quickly gain yet
another friend.
Catch the wind, good friend, as you soar to new heights, and keep watch for us.
A visitation was held on Friday, January 27, 2023, from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM at Mayes Ward-Dobbins
Macland Chapel. Arrangements made under the caring guidance Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home
Macland Chapel 770-943-1511
A Memorial Service was held in his honor on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Mayes Ward-
Dobbins Macland Chapel with Rev. J.R. McAliley III officiating. Interment at the Georgia National
Cemetery followed the service at 3:00 PM.