Daniel Brewster Lester, 80 years old, passed away at 1:15am on January 25th, 2020 at his home in Brevard, North Carolina surrounded by loved ones.
He leaves behind his wife of 45 years, Celinda Winstead Lester; and their two children, Elizabeth Gibbs (husband Jeremy), and Andrew Lester; along with two children from a previous marriage, Nathan Lester (wife Leah), and Karlin Diniaco. He leaves behind six grandchildren, Maggie, Robyn, Sophia, Dimitri, Burgon, and Isabella.
Born on March 11, 1939 in New Rochelle, NY, Daniel was raised in Litchfield, CT, the son of Helen Macdonald Lester and Joseph William Lester, and along with his two siblings Mary Lou and Joseph, Jr.
Daniel attended the Hotchkiss School for Boys in Sharon, CT as a young man growing up in Connecticut. He spent summers playing golf and working outdoors at the White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield. After high school, he attended the University of Colorado and graduated with a degree in Economics, and also served for two years in the United States Army in the Canal Zone in Panama, and then subsequently in the Army reserves until 1965.
His natural entrepreneurial spirit eventually led him back to Connecticut where he put his interest for food and cooking to work as the owner and manager of several authentic Mexican restaurants.
Daniel and Celinda married in 1975 and settled on a piece of Lester family land in Litchfield, CT where they built a log cabin and enjoyed the many aspects of life in the New England Countryside for the next 25 years. During this time, Daniel continued his self employed pursuits as the owner of ‘Collectors Market’ - a company that sold supplies to stamp and coin collectors and other hobby enthusiasts throughout the Northeast.
After Litchfield, Daniel and Celinda relocated to the Lakeridge community in neighboring Torrington, CT in the spring of 2001. While at Lakeridge, Daniel worked part time at the Lake Waramaug Country Club in New Preston, CT - making many friends in the process and enjoying some extra time to pursue other passions such as playing golf, volunteering on the Lakeridge Forestry Committee, and as President of the Heritage Land Trust.
Daniel and Celinda eventually relocated to Brevard, NC in the fall 2015 to enjoy retirement. As a lover of nature and the outdoors his entire life, in Brevard Daniel was able to rekindle passions for gardening and beekeeping - a few favorites from back in the Litchfield days.
Another theme throughout much of his life was a love of history, specifically for the Revolutionary period of the United States, for our founding fathers, and for the United States Constitution. He was a curious and voracious reader on the topic (and on any topic that interested him for that matter) but was as well spoken and educated on our country's founding as just about anyone you could meet. And to understand this passion of his, is at least in part to understand who he was. Daniel Lester was an American Patriot. He was hard working, smart, and eternally optimistic. Doggedly persistent, and a true original thinker, he was a unique individual that walked to the beat of his own drum his whole life. He is loved, and will be missed.
"Donations in Daniel's memory may be made to the Friends of Topsmead State Forest in Litchfield, CT. Their info can be found here: https://www.friendsoftopsmead.org/"