Junior Lee Hester, 81, of Raleigh, passed away Sept. 12, 2013 at the William M. Dunlap Center for Caring of complications resulting from congestive heart failure. He was born in Vance County in 1932 and later moved with his family to Warrenton, NC where he graduated from John Graham High School.
At age 17, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served his country honorably for 21 years. He retired to Topeka, Kansas where he completed his studies at the Clark School of Business and in 1975 was hired by the State of NC/Industrial Commission as a court reporter. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1996.
When time allowed, Lee visited the Flea Market at the State Fairgrounds. Before long, he developed an interest in antiques and collectibles and began attending auctions, estate sales and yard sales. His easy-going nature coupled with the social interaction of the flea market were a perfect fit and the inevitable followed. In 1983, Lee became a dealer and for 25 years enjoyed the friendship of his many customers and the camaraderie of the dealers.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Dorothy; granddaughter, Samantha, her husband Gene and their son, Ryder of Louisburg; sister, Irene Ormsby and her husband Travis of Warrenton; brother, James and his wife Yolanda of Sarasota, Fla. and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Kerina Hobaugh in 2012.
Lee was a very gentle soul who remained young-at-heart to the very end of his life. He fought a long and hard battle against an illness that devastated his body but not his spirit. During this difficult time, his greatest joy was to cradle his great-grandson Ryder in his arms. To all who knew and loved him, Lee’s ever-present smile, his hand outstretched in friendship and his outspoken honesty will always appear in some chapter of their lives as will his courageous spirit.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, 27607 are greatly appreciated.
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