Lester Edward Auker, 85, a resident of Dietrich, Idaho, passed away on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at his home.
He was born on September 11, 1934 in Payette Idaho. Grew up in Adrian, Oregon. He graduated from Adrian High School in 1952. He went to diesel mechanic school in Medford, Oregon for one year and then joined the Navy in October of 1953.
He married Jacqueline Lee Smith on August 6, 1954 in Adrian, Oregon.
His first child Leslie John was born February 13, 1956 in Nyssa, Oregon while serving in Hawaii. His second child Dan J. was born May 18, 1957 in Coronado, California.
He was discharged from the Navy in 1957 as a crew chief on a PBY aircraft. After leaving the Navy he took a job at the Ontario Oregon airport as an aircraft mechanic.
His third child (and favorite daughter) Maida L. was born on August 19, 1958 in Nyssa, Oregon.
He pursued his flight career and obtained his pilot license where he worked in the summer crop dusting out of the Ontario airport and taught flight school in the winter.
His fourth child Max L. was born September 15, 1960 in Ontario, Oregon. His fifth child Tim E. was born April 8, 1962 in Ontario, Oregon.
In 1966 he moved his family to Homedale, Idaho where he started his own crop-dusting business and remained in Homedale for five years. During that time, he acquired his twin-engine transport certification and a helicopter pilots license.
In 1972 he moved his family to Sandy, Utah where he was employed as an aircraft mechanic and corporate transport pilot. He worked from 1972 to 2000 as a corporate pilot and mechanic flying Lear jet and turbo prop corporate aircraft.
In January 2000 he retired and moved to Dietrich Idaho.
He loved flying and enjoyed gun-smithing, shooting, wood working, outings in his side by side and early morning coffee at the local cafe. But most of all he enjoyed his family.
He was preceded in death by: his parents - Mary Alice Thompson Auker and John Henry Auker; his sister – Deloras; his grandson – Daniel; and his daughter-in-law - Kathy.
He is survived by: his wife of 65 years – Jackie; his sister - Katherine (Donald) Costly; his five children; 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
A celebration of Lester’s life will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm at Demaray Funeral Service – Shoshone Chapel. Services will conclude at the chapel. Inurnment will take place on a later date this Spring at the Dietrich Cemetery.
The family invites everyone afterward to a gathering at the Shoshone Community Center.
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