Lester Anderson, Jr. was born in the Bronx, NY, to Ruth and Lester Anderson, Sr. As a child, Lester was adventurous and athletic. He enjoyed swimming, football and basketball.
Lester received primary and secondary education through the New York City public school system, graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, NY in 1964. Lester excelled in basketball and football in high school. After graduating, Lester was inducted into the Thomas Jefferson HS Hall of Fame. He was recruited to play football by a couple of top universities, including Perdue University. Lester chose to attend the University at Buffalo on an athletic scholarship. Unfortunately, during his junior year, the athletic program was temporarily cancelled, and he was unable to complete his degree due to financial hardship.
In 1969, Lester met Abike while working at the Police Athletic League. Lester was a Play Street Director and Abike was a Specialist. They married 6 years later and Lester became a step-father to Abike’s children, Jason and Lisa. In 1977, Lester and Abike’s daughter, Leena-Jean, was born into the blended family.
Lester worked for Arthur Brown & Brother Co. He left the company to begin a career as a civil servant. He explored working at the post office and fire department before deciding to join the New York City Department of Sanitation. His co-workers at the Brooklyn 3 garage became his second family, where he was affectionately known as “Coach”. Lester’s hard work and dedication was recognized through several commendations and awards, including “Sandman of the Year” in 1995.
After over two decades of service, Lester retired from the NYC Department of Sanitation in 2006. During retirement, he often stopped by the garage to see his BKN3 family. He enjoyed traveling, maintaining old friendships and building new ones, water aerobics at his favorite health club, and spending time with his grandchildren. In 2009, Lester fought and won a battle with colon cancer. The experience forever changed him.
On September 23, 2020, Lester passed away at Brooklyn Hospital, at the age of 75. He will be remembered for his love of family, food and history. Any conversation with Lester always included a history lesson. He proudly referred to himself as a "dinosaur". While Lester cherished the oldies, he also loved young people. He loved sharing stories with them and soaking up their youth. Lester will also be remembered for his generosity. He enjoyed giving gifts and always tried his best to be there for friends and family when needed.
Lester was preceded in death by his sister Mildred; his parents, Lester and Ruth; his brother Roosevelt, his sister Linda; and his nieces Cynthia and Regina. Lester leaves to cherish his memories; his wife Abike; daughter and son-in-law, Leena-Jean and Dennis; grandchildren Quincy, Ellie and Casey; sisters Dianna and Patricia; nephew Michael; nieces Deborah, Shawun Ruth, Christine and Sheretha; and a host of cousins, great nieces, great nephews, great cousins, in-laws and friends.
The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation, in lieu of flowers, to the Black Women for Black Girls College Shower (bw4bg.org) in Lester Anderson Jr.'s name. Lester was a staunch proponent of education and worked extremely hard to make sure financial hardship did not prevent his daughter, Leena-Jean, from earning a college degree.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
—Ecclesiastes 12:7 (KJV)
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