Robert Lester Jr., known to many as “Robbie” or “Shorty,” 85, of Springbrook passed away on Friday, July 16, 2021, with family, just down the road from where he was born on July 23, 1935.

Robert LaVerne Lester Jr. was born in Springbrook, the son of Robert and Hazel (Moyer) Lester Sr. He was raised in Springbrook and attended school in Spooner. He made his living throughout his life as a small businessman. He was an owner-operator in various pursuits ranging from farming, cutting and trucking pulpwood, and hauling steel in and out of the major industrial centers of the U.S., cities like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and New York. After he sold the family farm and logging equipment, he turned to public life and served the last 20 years of his life in local government. He was elected by his constituents to serve multiple terms as chairman of the Town of Stone Lake and as District 7 Washburn County board supervisor. As supervisor he proudly served on the Aging, Forestry, Housing and Highway committees.

Robert enjoyed deer hunting. He hunted deer from a boy on with his father, uncles, brothers, kids, grandkids and close friends in the hills and swamps surrounding the Bean Brook springs. Toward the end of his hunting days he didn’t care if he had any luck or not. As he would often say, “He just wanted to be around the boys.”

Throughout his life Robert would often say, “Life is like a boxing match. If you get knocked down, brush yourself off and get back up.” Born during hard times, and suffering from various near-life-ending sicknesses and injuries, and not much taller than 5-feet-5-inches, he embodied that philosophy. He worked hard, sometimes from sunup until sundown, seven days a week. And despite challenges and setbacks he moved positively forward through his life, passing on to his children and grandchildren the value of family and a good, honest day’s work.

Robert is survived by his wife of 65 years, Betty; three children, Debbie (Dennis) Hubatch of Stone Lake, Dorothy (Lynn) Thompson of Scandia, Kansas, and David Lester of Stone Lake; seven grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren; one sister, Joyce Drabek; four brothers, Jerry, Dale, Dean and Kalvin Lester; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Charles; and one sister, Carol Lester.

A memorial service celebrating Robert’s life will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, July 23, at the Hayward Funeral Home. A time of gathering with family and friends will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Interment will be at a later time in the Earl Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Hayward Regional Hospice.

Online condolences may be shared with Robert’s family at

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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