Lester Thomas Simerville Sr.


Lester Thomas Simerville Sr., 83, of Cleveland, died at his home on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019.  

He attended Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, on a full athletic scholarship, having been recognized by Coach Bobby Dodd as a good student and a High School All American halfback at Northside High School in Atlanta.  He received a graduate degree in textile engineering from Georgia Tech in 1959. 

 He was proud to be a veteran of the United States Army.  He was the type of person everyone would like to have as a friend, colleague, and family member.  He will be remembered for his honesty and integrity, and the more successful he became the more he did to help his community and an uncountable number of people.  Lester was genuine, patriotic, kind, generous to a fault, and a man of his word.

 He started his career with DuPont in Wilmington, Del., and later moved to Chattanooga with Vol State Chemical Company.  He acquired Specialty Chemical Company in Cleveland, and eventually started Specialty Enterprises Inc. 

He was an active member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, where he served on the Vestry, as chairman of the Stewardship Committee, and as an acolyte, which he loved to do from the time he was 12 years old at St. Philip's Cathedral in Atlanta.   

 He took pleasure in making a difference in his community.  He and his wife, Sharon, served as co-chairs of the United Way Corporate Fund Campaign of Bradley County. He was a board member of the Cleveland Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, and Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.  He was a board member of the First American Bank of Cleveland and a member of the founding board of directors at Southern Heritage Bank.

 He was the recipient of the M.C. Headrick award with recognition in the free enterprise system in Cleveland and Bradley County.  He was honored as Buckhead Boys “Man of the Year” in Atlanta. Lester’s friends were very important to him and he always enjoyed the camaraderie of Bulls & Bears Stock Club.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sharon Smoot Simerville; daughter, Kathy and husband, Joe Lee; son, Tom and wife, Mary Anne Simerville; his grandchildren and their spouses:  Hannah Lee Disney and husband, Cody Disney, Mallory Simerville Lehenbauer and husband, Jacob Lehenbauer, Madeline Lee Williams and husband, Josh Williams, Thomas Simerville, Olivia Lee, Timothy Simerville, and David St. Angel; two great-grandchildren: Annie Disney and Elle Williams;  his sister-in-law and brother-in-law: Maureen and Joe Smith; several nieces and nephews; and his faithful companion, Buzz, who was always by his side when possible.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, with the Rev. Joel Huffstetler officiating.

Interment will follow in St. Luke’s Memorial Garden, with a white dove release ceremony, and the playing of bagpipes concluding the service.

 The family will greet friends in the reception room at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church from noon until 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

The family request memorials be made to the St. Luke’s Christmas Gift Fund that supplies gifts to our children in local schools and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 320 Broad St., N.W., Cleveland TN 37311-5038. 

Ralph Buckner Funeral Homes is in charge of arrangements.

 We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Simerville family guestbook at  www.ralphbuckner.com.


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