1929 - 2012
Elder Lester LeRoy Hall, Milton Freewater, Ore.
God’s laws were in his heart.
Lester Hall passed away April 14, 2012, in Grandview, Wash., at age 83. He was born March 9, 1929, in Mabton, Wash. The son of a prominent Ellensburg wheat farmer (Laurence Hall), Lester loved sports and excelled in track and field, winning many races. His mother and step-father (Goldie and Clyde Skiller) settled in Milton Freewater, where Lester attended high school. Lester, through his own studies, became a Seventh-day Adventist at age 17 and gave up his titles as a distance runner so he could keep the Sabbath. Lester was in the U.S. Army and served as a medic in the Korean War. Lester loved mathematics and after the war earned a B.S. degree in mathematics with a minor in elementary education. He was a Pasco High School science teacher and was teaching algebra, biology, chemistry and astronomy when he met and married his wife of 51 years, Anita Griffin.
Anita was a Registered Nurse (BSN) and was the director of nurses at Walla Walla General hospital when they met. They settled in Kennewick and had two children, Lesli and Mark. Lester’s desire for truth, however, took him beyond science, and he attended Andrews University and earned a master’s in divinity and become an ordained SDA minister.
In 1965 the family moved to Wisconsin, where Lester pastored a number of churches. The pastoral years were very busy for Anita as she took up all the duties as a pastor’s wife, while continuing her hospital nursing career. During this time Lester built two churches and remodeled three older churches and started a church school. Lester loved the Bible and was well known for his astounding knowledge of its content, having read and reread it yearly. Dad held many evangelistic meetings and baptized a number of people, including me. He never got tired of ingathering every Christmas raising money for the poor, often putting a “10 spot” in my can, he would laugh “just for seed.”
The family eventually moved back to the Northwest to be near family and settled in the Milton Freewater area, where they purchased a small apple farm and lived there for the next 26 years. Anita earned a master’s degree from Loma Linda University and became a college professor for 16 years at the Walla Walla Community College, teaching second-year nursing. “Pastor Hall” received Christmas cards throughout his life from those whom he influenced. He was a moral man in whose heart were God’s laws. He loved the verse “For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance” PS 94:14
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Lesli and Curtis Genstler; his son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Bonnie Hall; older brother, John Hall; and six grandchildren, Amy Shelton, Bethany Hall, and Kaleb, Joshua, Danial and Karina Genstler; and one great-grandson, Benjamin Shelton.
Lester will be laid to rest next to his wife in a private internment service at Mt. Hope Cemetery in College Place.