Carl James Lester, 97

Born Monday, August 18, 1924

Died Friday, July 29, 2022

Carl James Lester, 97, of Muskogee, Oklahoma entered the gates of Heaven on Friday, July 29, 2022. He was born August 18, 1924 in Rush Springs, Oklahoma to James Henry and Elizabeth (Walraven) Lester. Carl attended public schools and graduated from Rush Springs High School in 1942 and furthered his education for one academic year at Oklahoma A&M starting in the fall of 1942. He then entered the military in July of 1943 where he served in the Army Air Force and was stationed in England, France and Luxembourg and then was stationed in Germany after VE Day until returning stateside in January of 1946. Carl then attended what was then Central State University (now UCO) in Edmond from the fall of 1946 until earning his bachelor’s degree in business in the summer of 1948. While there, he met the first love of his life, Miss Laurel Joan Smith, in February of 1947. They were married in May of 1948. He subsequently attended the University of Oklahoma from the fall of 1948 through the fall of 1949, earning his master’s degree in accounting. Carl and Joan then moved to Prescott, Arizona where he taught Business and Accounting at Grand Canyon Baptist College for four years with the last three years after the college had moved to Phoenix. Their first son, David James Lester, was born September 20, 1951 in Phoenix.
After moving back to Oklahoma, their second son, Charles Alan Lester was born in Oklahoma City on April 24, 1962. Carl worked as a certified public accountant in the private sector for many years and then opened his own private practice as a CPA in 1984 and continued until the passing of Joan, who was his “executive secretary” in July of 2005.
Carl accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord in grade school. He became a deacon at Central Baptist Church in Phoenix in 1953. He and Joan moved back to Oklahoma in 1954 and were active members at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. As life’s journey moved them, they remained faithful servants to the Lord through the years, including becoming members of First Baptist Church in Muskogee in 1999.
On August 18, 2007, Carl married the second love of his life, Thelma White, and they have enjoyed nearly 15 years of a wonderful life together.
He enjoyed fishing, hunting and OU football. He loved spending time and making memories with his grandchildren as well as going to events and on trips with his Sunday School class and his friends.
Most important, he loved serving the Lord.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Laurel Joan Lester; parents, James Henry and Elizabeth Lester; brothers, Boyd Lester and Donald Lester; sisters, Betty Lester Brown and Bonnie Lester; and granddaughter, Kelly Beth Lester.
Carl is survived by his wife, Thelma White Lester of the home; sons, Dr. David James Lester and wife Bernadon of Edmond, Dr. Charles Alan Lester and wife Jamie of Muskogee; stepson, Michael White and wife Denise of Battle Ground, WA; granddaughters, Jessica Lester Newson and husband Bart, Julie Lester Watson and husband Derek, and Kate Lester; grandsons, Jake Lester and wife Megan, Jeff Lester and wife Leslie, Ryan Lester and wife Jordan, Noah Lester, and Stefan White and wife Shannon; 14 great-grandchildren, along with many nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.
The family will receive friends from 5-7PM, Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at Cornerstone Funeral Home.
Carl’s life will be celebrated at 1PM, Thursday, August 4, 2022 at Cornerstone Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Eric Fletcher officiating. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 N York St Muskogee, OK 74403. Condolences can be made to the family at

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022 - 09:00 AM to 08:00 PM - Cornerstone Funeral Home & Crematory

Family to greet friends:
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022 - 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM - Cornerstone Funeral Home & Crematory

Thursday, August 4th, 2022 - 01:00 PM - Cornerstone Funeral Home Chapel

Cornerstone Funeral Home and Crematory