Lester ‘Les’ L. Homesley

By on February 26, 2009

Lester “Les” L. Homesley, 80, of Elburn, passed away following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease at Delnor-Community Hospital on Feb. 17, 2009. Although time may have robbed him of his body, his spirit never faltered, and Les is now free among the angels in heaven.

He was born July 3, 1928, the son of John and Mary Homesley in Freedom, Pa.

Les’s mother made their home in several areas of Pennsylvania as he grew up and attended local schools. Les had a strong work ethic and had to grow up quickly in a difficult environment when he began working on the Pennsylvania Railroad in a section gang at the age of 13. It was the time before automatic safety gates, so when he wasn’t working in the section gang, one of the jobs was to sit on a perch, and when a train came along he would manually lower the gates so the train could pass. When he turned 16, he began working at a local steel mill.

Les met the love of his life at a local basketball game when he crossed paths with Marilyn E. Oberholtzer. They were united in marriage the day after Marilyn’s birthday on Feb. 28, 1948, in East Palestine, Ohio, and it was one of the best birthday gifts she ever received.

They began their new life together with her parents for a time before Les built their first home. This was the first time that Les could put on display his growing craftsmanship, laying the foundation by hand. Although he built the house and eventually handcrafted most of the furniture, it was Marilyn who made it a home. In 1958, Les sold his home and began plans to build another one. Les and Marilyn moved back into her parent’s home until it was completed three years later. This new home on Pleasant Drive was bigger and better than his first and now held a growing family that included their 10-year-old son, Randy.

Les owned his own upholstering business, but when business got slow he moved his family to St. Charles in 1965 to work as a supervisor at Howell Company, a furniture company located on the Fox River. In 1971, Les began taking real estate classes to become a realtor with his son. Les found enough success and became a broker. He founded Homesley Real Estate in Geneva in the late-70s/early-80s. In the meantime, Les built his third house in 1973 on Keslinger Road in Elburn. The house later sold, though they continued to make their home in Elburn.

In his earlier years, Les was a member of a Masonic Lodge as well as the United Presbyterian Church in East Palestine, Ohio.

Les was a gregarious man who never found a person who didn’t become a friend. As the years passed, he expressed his creative soul through building many houses and found his creative soul through many talents including framing, trimming, plumbing, electrical and cabinetry. Les also filled his home with the most beautiful handcrafted furniture. Les also had a passion for gardening, a passion he passed onto his son. His garden was filled with vegetables and flowers, but his specialty was tomatoes. He would grow everything from a seed and was very particular about keeping it immaculately manicured. As a young man, he was heavily involved in harness racing, but he also showed Hackney Ponies. Although he never had a college education, he had a Ph.D in the lessons of life. His “education” and lessons learned will be his legacy passed onto the next generations.

He now leaves his loving wife, Marilyn; son, Randy (Debbie) Homesley of Elburn; two grandchildren, Jason (Jennifer) Homesley, and their daughter Bella, of St. Charles, and Jennifer Dazzo and her three children, Drake, Drew, and Kamryn of DeKalb.

He now joins his parents; three brothers, Bill, John and Albert; and one sister, Mae, who preceded him in death.

Private family services will be held, and interment will occur at Oak Hill Cemetery in Geneva.

A memorial has been established in his name. Checks may be made to the “Les Homesley Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com.