Industry Mourns Passing Of ‘Pops’

By Kit Jones, Wheelwright | January 2012, Vol. 67 No. 1

Survivors include his son, Paul Ray, St. Johns, FL; daughters Leslie Jo Bickett, Arcadia, FL; Laura Ann, Beaver Dam, KY.; brothers Robert Ritch, Hartford, KY., Daniel Keene, Franklin, Ky.; sister, Betty Jane McPherson, Hartford, KY.; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Joe Cutillo, president and CEO of IPR, said that “We all have things we will miss about Lester, but to me Lester was the true EF Hutton in our world. When he spoke, everyone listened. They listened because they knew Lester’s perspective was going to be genuine and the majority of the time correct. Lester was a leader in the industry, a father figure to all our employees and a guy I could go to when I needed to hear the truth about what really was going on or what really needed to happen.

“It is not often, as a leader of a company, that you get the opportunity to have a mentor who works for you, but I can say I learned far more from Lester than he learned from me. Lester was truly a legend in our industry and one of a kind. On behalf of those who contributed to this article, countless unmentioned friends and associates, and the IPR family -- Lester, you will be missed by everyone.”