Reprinted from Newsletter 103, dated 2002 April

Farewell to Jean Lester

Members of the society will be saddened to hear that Jean Lester died, aged 63 years, on February 4 after a long battle with bone cancer.

She was born in Croydon and during childhood went to Australia, where she eventually trained as a nurse before returning to England. After several nursing jobs she chose midwifery, which gave her much joy and satisfaction.

Eventually she settled with children Gillian and Richard in Frome, and it was of course through her interest in wildlife that she met David Lester, the Somerset Wildlife Trust honorary warden of Great Breach Wood and at that time chairman of the trust’s Wells area. They started married life in the Wells Road, then moved to the Actis estate. During this time David was a member of the Conservation Society committee. They moved to a cottage in Barton St David about ten years ago.

Jean was a very keen gardener, and, with both David and Jean’s interest in wild plants, you will not be suprprised to hear that their garden in Barton gradually propagated common spotted orchids in the wild section. She was a member of the Green Gardening Club.

She enjoyed sewing and tapestry. She helped with the new hassocks recording the millennium for the local church. She delivered meals on wheels.

Her life was very active and over the last few years she fought her illness to remain as involved as possible. As late as 12 months ago she flew with David to visit the USA again. In her last autumn her first grandchild was born. By this year David and Jean had enjoyed 20 years of marriage.