Lester Martin Konz died Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, at Kingston Care Center Sylvania, Ohio, during his hundredth year of life at the age of 99.
He was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1920 to the late Frank M. and Doris (Purkey) Konz, and moved to Sylvania in 1936. He was a 1938 graduate of Burnham High School and attended Davis College until joining the Army in 1940. He married Elizabeth Helen Holt (deceased) in 1940 and raised three children in Sylvania. After the death of Elizabeth, he married Mary (Allor) Brightbill.
Lester was a high school multi-sport athlete and a three-year letterman in football and track. He had a wonderful sense of humor that became apparent early. As a child, his teachers told him that since he was unafraid of public speaking, he should use his quick wit to participate in many speech competitions as well as one-act plays. Later in life, to the amusement of his grandchildren, he would play “air” drums to tap out silent imaginary rhythms.
Lester was a decorated WWII veteran. On D-Day, he was among the brave soldiers who stormed Omaha Beach where he attributes a Toledo-made Jeep to saving his life by hurrying him out of harm’s way. Speaking of Jeeps, he and an army buddy liked to tell the story of seeing General George Patton as he stood at the front seat of a Jeep. When asked what he looked like they said, “a target!”
During his advanced years, his grandchildren persuaded him to talk about his WWII experience. This man of the Greatest Generation would humbly and matter-of-factly recall horrific and dangerous events to their absolute amazement.
Upon return to the Toledo area, he worked for the Toledo Board of Trade then established a 40-plus year career with Cargill Inc., retiring in 1982.
Lester’s eyesight suffered but he would say that his macular degeneration was suddenly better when he went to the beach near his Florida home. His wit remained sharp until the end, whether telling humorous accounts of life or impromptu greetings to whom anyone he was talking, you knew it was delivered kindly and genuinely.
He is survived by wife, Mary Konz; daughters, Marilyn Scherer of Leo, Indiana, Barbara Hoening (Terry) of Fostoria, Ohio; son Dr. Tom Konz (Shelly) of Perrysburg, Ohio; grandsons, Dr. Ryan Sacksteder (Dr. Danielle Spratt) St. Petersburg, Florida, Dr. Jamie Sacksteder (Dr. Kylee Sacksteder) Charlotte, North Carolina, Noah Sacksteder, Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, Andrew Sacksteder, Charlotte, North Carolina, Alan Scherer (Kelli) Fort Wayne, Indiana; granddaughters, Alison Scherer, Leo, Indiana, Cody Bigaila (Joe) Perrysburg, Ohio, and Kara Southwick (Scott) Asheville, North Carolina; step-children, Vicky Rousey, of Sun City, Arizona, Cindy Burger (the late Chuck), of McHenry, Illinois, Brian Brightbill (Dee) of Waynesville, North Carolina, and Rodney Brightbill, of Jacksonville, Florida; step grandchildren, Melissa Trout (John), of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Terrence Hoening (fiancée Kelly Cunningham), of Fostoria, Ohio, Jason Barron (Aprol), of Apache Junction, Arizona, Amy Barron, of Toledo, Ohio, Breanne Goldstone (Joel), of Aurora, Illinois, Stacy Okyne (Al), of Austin, Texas, and Aaron Pierce (Elly Lamm), of Fox Lake, Illinois; three great -grandchildren; 14 step-great-grandchildren; two step-great-great grandchildren; and a sister, Betty Schneider (the late Dale) of Perrysburg, Ohio.
Visitation will be held from 4–7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, at David R. Jasin-Hoening Funeral Home, 5300 N. Summit St., Toledo. Mass of Christian burial will be Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 5411 Main St., Sylvania, beginning at 10 a.m., Rev. J. Douglas Garand, presiding. Entombment will follow in Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania, where military honors will be performed.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Kingston Care Center of Sylvania for their caring service and friendship.
Memorial contributions may be considered to St. Joseph Catholic Church or to the Residents’ Activities Fund at West Park Place where Lester resided.
Online expressions of sympathy may be made by visiting www.hoeningfuneralhome.com.