Thomas Eugene Jester, 83, of Hope, died at 4:37 p.m. February 13, 2017, at Columbus Regional Hospital.
Thomas was born Jan. 1, 1934, in New Castle, Indiana, the son of Joe and Frances Pauline Jackson Jester. He first married Mary Freida Fields in 1953, followed by Carolyn Helwig, who passed away on May 31, 1976. He then married Marilyn Sarber Buis, who survives him.
He was previously employed in car sales, beverage sales and insurance sales and was a real estate broker.
He was a U.S. marine, having served in the infantry division. Thomas was highly involved in military organizations including past commander of VFW and was a member of the American Legion, Bartholomew County Veterans Honor Guard, 40&8 Organization, Marine Corps League, Elks and Eagles. He was also a former veterans affairs officer and founded Columbus Young Marines.
Thomas was also a member of the Masonic Lodge, Shrine, Moose Lodge, High 12 Club and Scottish Rite. He was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Gov. Frank O’Bannon.
The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, at VFW Post 1987, 215 North National Road, Columbus, Indiana, with the Rev. Robert Lay officiating. Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the VFW. Burial will be at Garland Brook Cemetery with military honors presented by the Bartholomew County Veterans Honor Guard.
Memorials may be made to the Young Marines through the funeral home.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; children, Wilma Jean (Gene) Thompson of Spartanburg, North Carolina, Mary Frances (Mike) Moody of Westport, Jennifer Lynn McKenzie of Mississippi, Teresa (Gill) Pierce of Elizabethtown, Jeffrey (Lisa) Buis of New Palestine, Indiana, and Cynthia (Robert) Canaday of Hope; 18 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and cousins, Gary Jackson of Iowa and Jack Duhling of Illinois.
You are invited to view his video tribute after 4 p.m. Friday, light a virtual candle and send a message to the family via the internet.