Lester Ulysses Grant passed away Thursday, March 9, 2023 at the age of 83 after a long battle with cancer. John Mason and Lydia May (Matyas) Grant welcomed him to this world Monday, December 16, 1939 in Glenrock, Wyoming. He was born with the help of Mabel Sutphin, midwife, at her home. Days after his birth he was taken to the family ranch in Boxelder Park in the mountains south of Glenrock where he was greeted by his siblings Jack, Esther and Shirley. The family later expanded to include Lois and Frankie. The family resided in a two-room log cabin that was built by Lester’s father and uncles.
At age five he started attending a one-room rural school. After eighth grade he completed high school via correspondence courses so that he could remain at the ranch to help his father and uncles.
Lester was drafted by the United States Army. He served most of his time at Fort Dix, New Jersey as a Medic. His most memorable experience was waiting in a plane as part of the Bay of Pigs Invasion that was occurring in Cuba. A few weeks before his passing he was honored for his service with a We Honor Veterans ceremony conducted by fellow veterans where he was awarded a certificate, pins, and a red, white and blue crocheted comfort shawl.
After honorable discharge from the Army, he returned to the family ranch. In 1968 he attended a barn dance where he met his future wife Norma Jean Haygood. On June 14, 1970 the couple managed to get married even with a 50-year flood occurring causing Lester to have to detour using two-track roads to make it to the ceremony. From this union two sons were born, Craig and Mark.
Lester served on the Converse County Conservation District board for several years and in 2018 received a Lifetime Conservation Award from the district. He served on the Converse County Rural Fire Department since its inception. Widely known as the local area historian, he participated on the Glenrock Museum Board. In 1986 the family ranch was honored by the Wyoming Centennial Farm and Ranch program. This acknowledgment of the ranch and the family’s legacy made Lester very proud.
Lester had a lifelong love of horses and was an accomplished teamster. He grew up pitching hay to feed the livestock using a team and wagon. He was known for rebuilding and demonstrating how the horse drawn haying and harvesting equipment were used. Later in life he enjoyed competing in driving competitions at the Wyoming State Fair where he won a belt buckle for winning the Hay Team Race.
Lester loved the ranch and his horses but above all his family. His grandkids were the light of his later life. He would drop everything to help a family member in need. Lester could tell you the birthdates of any family member or what he and his dad were doing the day any of his nieces or nephews were born. He never met a stranger and could talk to anyone. Ever the jokester and teasing out a smile, Lester’s laugh was infectious.
Lester was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Jack and Frankie and sister Lois.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Norma Jean; sons, Craig (Mary) and Mark (Angela); grandchildren, Kayla, Austin, Cooper, and Carolyn Grant all of the family ranch; and sisters, Esther Wollen of Glenrock and Shirley Lythgoe of Castle Rock, Colorado as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and friends he considered family.
A celebration of Lester’s life will be held at a later date.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com
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