Lester James Mendenhall passed away in the early hours on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, at the age of 80 in Crossville. He was born in Newcastle, WY, on March 20, 1936, to Leicester and Marian (née Mayberry) Mendenhall. Lester served in the National Guard before being honorably discharged. He worked in many different areas throughout his life, from the lumber industry, the oil field and oil field services to OTR trucking, and never quite got the whole retirement thing down pat. Lester was a keen conversationalist, always willing to talk with anyone and everyone he met whether an acquaintance or stranger and was quick to find humor in any situation. He ended every chat with the promise to talk at ya later. When he wasn't working, gardening or cutting hay, you could find him enjoying some Honky Tonk, pancakes or professional bull riding. But it was his family that gave him the greatest joy in life.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; brother, Donnie; and son-in-law, Larry Bacon.
Lester is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ellen Mendenhall, and his daughters and son-in-laws, Debra Mendenhall, Denise and Steve Martin, Donna Mendenhall, and Deanna Mendenhall-Miller and Norman Miller. He was also the loving grandfather of Amanda Mendenhall, Drew and Dylan Martin, Lucas Edmonds, Christopher and Maggie Bacon, and Mitchell and Madison Miller. Lester leaves behind three great-grandchildren, Ethan Winningham and Trenton and Brice Martin. Very close to his heart were also his cousins; sister-in-law, Shirley Mendenhall; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Though his passing leaves a hole in the world, our hearts will always be full of his love and laughter.
In lieu of flowers the family would like to encourage donations be made to one of the many charities dear to Lester: JDRF Mitchell's Marching Militia, the American Heart Association, National PKU Alliance, and/or the Alzheimer's Foundation. The family will hold a celebration of life to enjoy all of Lester's favorite things. The celebration will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 4 p.m. at the Martin farm, 1219 Vandever Rd., Crossville, TN.
Bilbrey Funeral Home, Inc. (www.bilbreyfh.com) was in charge of the arrangements.
Published on  August 2, 2016