Obituary of Lester (Howard) Bechtel
To view Lester's service, please click here.
Passed away peacefully, at Nithview Community’s Long Term Care Home on January 24, 2021. Loving dad to Bruce and his wife Diane Lichti, (children Craig and Evan); Cheryl and her husband Chris Whelan, (children Brendan and his wife Talin and son Mekai, Kevin, Wayne and son Cobain); Deb and her husband Cam Shapansky, (children Gabbi and Reuben); and Peter and his wife Anna Kabetova (son Matthew). Also remembered by the Lichty family. Lester was a loving husband to the late Alma (Bast) Bechtel (1994) and the late Dorothy (Zehr Lichty Worden) Bechtel (2009). He was predeceased by his brothers, Elton and Orville and their wives, and Roy and his sister Hilda.
Lester was an intensely practical and humble man who would be happier with a short tribute. He was a successful dairy farmer near Breslau. He was a lifelong member of Wanner Mennonite Church. He liked to whistle, work hard and be outdoors. While farming was the practical choice for him, he was a big proponent of education and specifically Mennonite education. He expressed this through support of Mennonite educational institutions, reading, constant learning and sponsorship of the ongoing Bechtel Lectures at Conrad Grebel University College, which was created to provide the public access to rich academic experiences. He retired young and took different opportunities to travel far, travelling extensively to attend Mennonite World Conference gatherings.
He looked forward to family get togethers and being at his kids’ homes, often sitting back quietly observing. Lester was generous with his time and resources, slow to judge, a deep thinker and amateur philosopher. He carried his ability to ‘field-fix’ a tractor to all areas of his life. He enjoyed a long and healthy life using his time well.
Special thanks to Nithview’s second floor staff for such loving and compassionate care during very difficult times. We are grateful for the constant communication and many video calls.
A private family visitation will take place. A livestreamed celebration of life will be held Thursday, January 28 at 1pm. Relatives and friends may join the family in the livestream of the service at www.erbgood.com. Cremation will take place, because as Lester said, “Why would you want to mess up a perfectly good patch of sod?”
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the House of Friendship or KidsAbility and can be arranged through the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo at www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.