Thomas Joseph Francis Lester (77), Lincoln, CA, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by those who loved and cared for him. Tom (Butch to his family) was born in Butte, Montana and attended Central High School in Butte. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Iona College and received a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Manhattan College in New York.
While enrolled in a PhD program at UC Davis, he began teaching mathematics in the Del Paso Heights area of Sacramento. This experience fueled a long career in education, including positions at CSUS, the California Department of Education, and WestEd. He created a statewide program, Math Matters, to provide high quality professional educational development that supported the teaching of mathematics with the goal of making it entertaining and more accessible to all students. Through Math Matters, he enjoyed sharing his knowledge and strategies with teachers, and his eyes twinkled in a magical way as he saw teachers’ jaws drop when their students engaged in and grew excited about mathematics.
He was named an Emeritus Member of Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, and in 2003, he was honored with the prestigious California Council of Mathematics’ Edward Begle Memorial Award.
In addition to his career as an educator, Tom was one of the founders of Plexers, the entertaining word puzzles that could be found in the Sacramento Bee and Montana Standard. He could often be found jotting down ideas or quick notes for future puzzles and loved sharing them with all.
Tom loved spending time being active and outdoors, carrying this love even into his final days. Though he loved playing, coaching and watching all sports, golf was by far his favorite, especially after his retirement. He could be found almost daily on his own backyard putting green, often joined by his grandchildren, or on his favorite local courses. He loved attending the annual celebrity golf tournament held in South Lake Tahoe with friends and family.
He especially enjoyed planning vacations and celebrations that brought his family and friends together. He also loved traveling to places like Australia, Ireland and Hawaii. Tom spent his life surrounded by a loving family and caring friends.
He is survived by his life partner and friend, Susan Iida; his two children, Christopher (Mandi) Lester and Cara (Michael) Kopecky; his grandchildren, Henry, Alexander, Ruby, and Sophia; his siblings, JoAnn Anderson, Sister Lynn Lester, James (Wilene) Lester, Kim (David) Scott; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins, all of whom he loved dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Margaret Lester (Torpy); and brother-in-law, Ralph Anderson. A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on March 4, 2018 at the Sun City Lincoln Hills Clubhouse at 2:00pm.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Feb. 27, 2018
Lester, Thomas [MC???? RIP]
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I believe that Thomas received his Masters in 1966.
May He Rest In Peace.
** JOBIT: Lester, Thomas [MC1966 RIP] 2018-Feb-27
McEneney, Mike (MC1953)
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]
# – # – # – # – # 2018-Mar-04 @ 14:08
Colon, Philip J. (MC1962) added this request to his prayer circle.
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