January 2, 2003

(3/13/1923 - 12/27/2002)

Lester L. Birky, 79, of Wyaconda, MO, passed away December 27, 2002, in his home.

The son of Jacob Arron and Alma Saloma (Eichelberger) Birky, he was born on March 13, 1923, in Delavan, IL.

Lester served in the United States Army during World War II, receiving three bronze stars, the bronze arrowhead, and the purple heart, all for service above and beyond the call of duty. He was involved in the D-Day Invasion at Omaha Beach, and also served in Normandy, France, and Holland. Following his discharge on March 14, 1946, he returned to Delavan, IL.

On December 2, 1949, he was married to Marie Georganna Laramee at Winnipeg, Manitobe, Canada. For the past 37 years they have made their home in Wyaconda, MO.

Lester was a rancher for the past 50 years, and enjoyed the rodeo. He was an active member of the PRCA Rodeo Association and was a Gold Card lifetime member. In 1948, he was the winner of the World Champion saddle bronc rider.

Preceding him in death were his parents; and three brothers, Ivan, Glenn and Mervin.

Survivors include his wife, M. Georganna of the home; three sons, Lewis Paul Birky and wife, Miranda of Wyaconda, Jake Daniel Birky and wife, Julie Marie of Wyaconda, MO, and David Glenn Birky and wife, Graceilla of Williamstown, MO; one daughter, Carol Birky of Wyaconda, MO; one brother, Clayton Birky of Alaska; three sisters, Bernice and husband, Chuck Naffziger of Atlanta, IL, Viola Martin of Delavan, IL, and Janice and husband, Ron Martin of Indiana; one sister-in-law, Marilyn Birky of Delavan, IL; 12 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held December 30, 2002, at 10:00 a.m. in the Wyaconda Baptist Church, Wyaconda, MO, with the Reverend Rick Seaton officiating. Special music was provided by Marilyn Hales, organist, and Wayne Blum, vocalist. Serving as pallbearers were Bill Birky, Jim Birky, Dave Birky, Carl Hammond, Daniel Lehnert, and Larry Anderson. Honorary bearers were Bud Nichols, Dale Thyson, and Wayne Wagner. Interment was in the New Woodville Cemetery, east of Wyaconda, MO, with graveside military rites presented by the Kahoka VFW/American Legion Post #192. Memorials have been suggested to the family. Arrangements were handled by Gerth Funeral Service from their Wyaconda chapel, Wyaconda, MO.

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