May 29, 1944 - January 14, 2015
COLUMBUS, GA - James David Lester III, aged 70, passed away Wednesday, January 14, 2015 after a courageous battle with cancer. Jim, a resident of Columbus, GA, was born and raised in Montezuma, GA and graduated from Montezuma High School. He graduated from Emory University with a degree in Mathematics and was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity as well as the Emory Glee Club. He proudly served in the United States Navy as a Lieutenant, first training as a pilot, and subsequently working at the Pentagon for Cmdr. Grace Murray Hopper, a luminary in the field of computer technology, where he led nuclear war gaming programs. In the Navy, under the tutelage of Cmdr. Hopper, Jim’s passion for technology ignited. During this time, he married the love of his life and childhood sweetheart, Martha Faye Riddle, ultimately celebrating over 45 years of marriage. Upon leaving the Navy, the couple moved to Atlanta, GA where Jim earned a Masters in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and Faye taught high school. Subsequent to graduation, the couple settled in Montezuma to begin their family and careers. Jim was passionate about his faith, family, farm, golf, and technology. As a lifelong Methodist, he was active over the years in both the Montezuma United Methodist Church as well as St. Luke Methodist Church of Columbus. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends on his beautiful farm in Dooly County, GA. He loved both the competitive nature of golf as well as the integrity of the game and competed in numerous statewide amateur events. But, most of all, he relished the lifelong friendships he made at both McKenzie Memorial Golf Club (Montezuma) and Green Island Country Club (Columbus). As a technologist, Jim succeeded as both an entrepreneur and corporate executive. In 1979, he founded his first software company, Advanced Business Systems, a provider of solutions to independent insurance agencies which he sold in 1989. Subsequently, he founded Portable Systems Technology (PST), the provider of the SmartApp solution to the insurance industry. After selling PST to AFLAC in Columbus, GA, Jim became the Chief Information Officer with global responsibility for the company’s technology. Over the years, Jim served on numerous technology governance and advisory boards. As an appointee of both Governors Barnes and Perdue, he led the Georgia Technology Authority as its Chairman. Most recently, he served on the Georgia Tech College of Computing Board of Advisors. Jim was a remarkable man and beloved by friends and family. He is predeceased by his parents, Caroline Leonora Parsons and James David Lester Jr. and his sister, Caroline Lester Haynes. Jim is survived by his wife, Faye, his son, James David Lester IV (Mary Lucy) and his daughter, Laura Lester Rue (Les). Other survivors include his grandchildren, Mary Mitchell Lester, James David Lester V, Leslie Waits Rue III, Ann Lane Rue, and Davis Lester Rue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of James David Lester III to The John B. Amos Cancer Center, 1831 5th Avenue, Columbus, GA 31904 or Columbus Hospice, 7020 Moon Road, Columbus, GA 31909. A visitation will be held at the St. Luke Ministry Center, 301 11th Street, Columbus, GA on Friday, January 16, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. A memorial service, followed by a visitation, will be held at the Montezuma United Methodist Church, North Dooly Street, on Saturday, January 17 at 11:00AM. The burial will be private. Friends may view and sign the online guestbook at www.watsonmathewsfuneralhome.com Watson-Mathews Funeral Home in Montezuma, GA is in charge of funeral arrangements for Mr. Lester.
COLUMBUS, GA - James David Lester III, aged 70, passed away Wednesday, January 14, 2015 after a courageous battle with cancer. Jim, a resident of Columbus, GA, was born and raised in Montezuma, GA and graduated from Montezuma High School.... View Obituary & Service Information
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