Lester Leon Fanning, Sr.

  • Born: August 21, 1929
  • Died: April 17, 2020
  • Location: Hubbardston, Massachusetts

Fowler-Kennedy Funeral Home

42 Concord Street
Maynard, MA 01754

Tel. (978) 897-7343

Tribute & Message From The Family

Loving Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather

Lester Leon Fanning, Sr., age 90 of Hubbardston, MA formerly of Acton, MA, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on April 17, 2020. Proceeded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Joan I. (Wilson) Fanning, he leaves behind his devoted loving family: son Lester L. Fanning Jr. and wife Jane of Hubbardston, MA; daughter Dawn M. Bleakley and husband Richard of Westminster, MA; daughter Kimberly Mae Harris and husband Eric of Clarksville, TN, eight (8) grandchildren, three (3) great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Lester was born in Huntington, IN on August 21, 1929, the son of the late Coburn and Ester Mae (Brown) Fanning. He grew up in Ft. Wayne, IN with his cherished mother Mae and brother David E. Fanning. Lester graduated from Central High School in Ft. Wayne in 1948 where he was a star basketball, football and track athlete. After graduation he served as a Fire Controlman, Petty Officer Third Class on the USS MALOY (EDE 791) in the U.S. Navy from 1948 – 1952 during the Korean war. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to Ft. Wayne to work at International Harvester and General Electric, graduating from General Electric's apprentice school in 1956 and their Manufacturing Studies school in 1961.

Lester and Joan married in 1952 and settled their family in Acton, MA in 1964 where he worked as Plant Engineer Manager at GenRad until his retirement in 1995. Lester's family was the center of his life and he was an active fan of his childrens' sports teams and participated in school activities.

He was respected by his friends and colleagues as a dedicated family man and talented, dependable leader. Lester served as Grand Master of the Masons lodge of Charles A. Welch, A.F. & A.M and continued as a contributing member until his death. He was Jury Foreman in the notorious 1982 King Arthur Motel police brutality and murder trial. Lester enjoyed playing basketball into his 50's and was an avid golfer. Following his 31 years at GenRad, without a single sick day, he continued his love of golf as a Golf Course Starter at the Butternut Farm Golf Club in Stow, MA. He spent his summers vacationing and boating with his wife, Joan, children and grandchildren at Lake Winnipesaukee in NH, enjoying evenings reading Tom Clancy thrillers, playing poker and board games with his family. He also shared his memories of where he grew up, relatives, summers at his Uncles' farm and love for Coney Island hot dogs with his family on road trips to Ft. Wayne, IN, saying he used to buy 6 hot dogs for $0.25 as a kid.

A brief funeral service for the family will be held at the Fowler Kennedy Funeral Home, followed by burial at Glenwood Cemetery in Maynard, MA. Family and friends will be invited to gather in a celebration of his life which will be scheduled for late summer.

In lieu of flowers or other donations, please donate to GVNA HealthCare, c/o Marketing & Business Development, 34 Pearly Lane, Gardner, MA 01440.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Lester & Family,
Your Dad was a wonderful gentleman. He was always so nice to me and I know my Dad thought very highly of him as well. It was always reassuring to look up into the stands and see your Mom & Dad supporting us at all those games, now so many years ago. The last time I ran into him was when he was a starter at the golf course. What a pleasant surprise.
From the Gallant Family, our deepest condolences. Ray

Posted by Raymond Gallant - Acton, MA   April 27, 2020

Lester and David were childhood friends in Ft. Wayne. I lived on Pontiac St. and they lived about 2 blocks away' We played a lot at Lester's house in the summer as his mother and dad both must have worked. Lester often cooked lunch for us. He made the best fried potatoes! I went on to South Side H.S. and Les went to Central. Remember a little bit of his career at Central. My best to his family at this difficult time.

Posted by Jim Hettler - Goshen, IN - Friend   April 27, 2020

Dear Lester, Dawn & Kim and families,

What a wonderful man & Uncle he was to us,
and your Mom too, we will always
remember their kindness in thinking of us.

Much love to you all
Russ & Pinky Wilson
Boulder City, NV

Posted by A friend   April 24, 2020

So sorry to hear about Lester's passing. He was a great neighbor, always had a smile for everyone.

Susan Fox, Madison Greens neighbor

Posted by Susan Fox - Hubbardston, MA - Neighbor   April 23, 2020

I'm so sorry to hear the passing of Les. I worked with Les during my last 10 of 30 years at GenRad. He was such a sweet man. He will be missed by all that knew him.

Mary Brown, Coworker, Bolton, MA

Posted by Mary Brown - Bolton, MA - Coworker   April 21, 2020

Lester was a big supporter for me and his wife Joan as well.so as a friend and part of the family. Your now in Gods kingdom.Where their is love and peace.

Posted by Grant Atwood - Maynard, MA   April 21, 2020

We worked at GenRad during 60s to 2000s. Les was a great man and we'll respected. Our heartfelt sympathy on his death.

Posted by Joan and Jim Richards - Lancaster, MA - Coworker   April 21, 2020

I am very sorry to hear the passing of Lester. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

- Trent Hammond, colleague of John Fanning @ BFGoodrich

Posted by Trent Hammond - Fort Wayne, IN - Family Friend   April 21, 2020

You are in our thoughts Kim & Eric. Jim & Pam

Posted by JIm Laite - Lancaster, MA - Friend   April 21, 2020


So sorry to see the passing of John's uncle. Uncle Lester sounded like a really great man. Love to all the Fannings'. Aunt Mary Finley

Posted by Mary Finley - Anderson, IN - Family   April 20, 2020

I am so sorry to learn of Lester's passing. He was so kind to me and I will always remember him fondly. My deepest sympathy to Lester, Dawn, Kim and their families.

Posted by Mary Joyce - Stow, MA - Friend   April 20, 2020


Our hearts and prayers go out to you during this time of loss. Amy and Michael Johnson

Posted by Amy Johnson - Nutley, NJ - Family Friend   April 20, 2020

Uncle Les was such a gentle giant. He rarely was upset, but his presents at 6'4" was intimidating. His last visit was 2015, and those days were great. The ride to the farm, and other spots from his childhood were priceless. I still remember the day I received 3 newspapers clippings a week after the Patriots won the Superbowl in 2019. His note just said, "We are still here, how's the Colts Doing?"Love Him!!

Posted by John Fanning - Fort Wayne, IN - Family   April 20, 2020

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Community Photos

Les Sr, Jacob, Les Jr