John D. “Jack” Lesser
John D. “Jack” Lesser passed away at RiverMead Lifecare Community in Peterborough, N.H., on No-vember 8, 2020.
Jack was born on Sep-tember 2, 1927, in Warren, Pa. He was predeceased by his parents, Byron Virgil Lesser and Beatrice (Bradley-Kerr) Lesser, and by his four siblings: Bob Lesser, Barbara Porter, Jeanne Richards, and Ann Lesser.
Jack graduated from Warren High School in 1945. After a year at the Bullis School in Silver Spring, Md., he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, where he was a member of the wrestling team and the Naval Academy choir. His Naval Academy yearbook entry described him as a “Jack of All Trades”. He graduated from Annapolis with an Electrical Engineer-ing degree in 1950 and married his high school sweetheart, Eleanor Mae Peters of Irvine, Pa.
Following graduation, Jack was commissioned in the Air Force. He had learned to fly at age 15 while he was still in high school. In the Air Force, he flew the F-80 fighter jet during the Korean Con-flict.
Upon the death of his fa-ther in 1954, Jack returned to Warren to assume management of the B.V Lesser Insurance Agency. In 1961, he and his young family moved to Bradford, Pa., where he took a job as the production manager for the electronic components division of Corning Glass-works. In 1972, he was transferred to company headquarters in Corning, N.Y., where he led the To-tal Quality Management team.
After his retirement in 1983, he and Ellie moved to Chautauqua, N.Y. Jack was active in the Chautau-qua Catholic Community and served on the Board of Trustees of the Chautauqua Institution. They moved from Chautauqua to River-Mead in 2011.
Jack will be remembered for his sense of humor and boundless curiosity. Fami-ly vacations involved tow-ing a Shasta mini-trailer across the country to ex-pose his children to new places and ideas. After re-tirement, he and Ellie sailed along the coast of Maine and traveled international-ly. He was a talented artist and master craftsman, working in wood, glass, metal, and other media. He built furniture, musical in-struments, clocks, boats, and radio-controlled model aircraft and sailboats. He tinkered with countless quirky gadgets that made life more fun and interest-ing. He fueled his lifelong passion for flying as a glid-er pilot and ultimately donated his record-breaking sailplane to the National Soaring Museum. He con-tinued to fly radio-controlled model air-craft well into his 90s and could be found chasing grandchildren and residents through the halls of River-Mead with his drone.
He is survived by Ellie, his wife of 70 years, and by six children: Kathy Cal-lahan (John) of Littleton, Colo., David Lesser (Rosemary) of Ogden, Utah, Tom Lesser (Kathy) of Frederick, Md., the Rev. Rick Lesser of Round Lake, N.Y., Jim Lesser (Liz) of Belfast, Maine, and Mary Lesser of Peterborough, N.H. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and his beloved cat, Mikey.
The family wishes to ex-press our deepest apprecia-tion for the love and care that has been shown to Jack by the staff at RiverMead and the Oncology Depart-ment of the Monadnock Community Hospital.
Due to restrictions im-posed by the COVID pan-demic, a celebration of life service will be scheduled at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Jack’s name to MCH – Oncology Fund, Monadnock Community Hospital, Dept of Phi-lanthropy, 452 Old Street Road, Peterborough, NH 03458.