Lester Ray Elam
Published 2:34 pm Monday, October 11, 2021
Lester Ray Elam of Winchester, an unofficial KY historian, died at home on October 10, 2021 after a long illness. He was born in Lexington, KY to Henry Leander and Mary Josephine Hisle Elam on November 8, 1946. He was their third child. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Cheryl Lynn Hammelman Elam, daughter Julie Gayle Webb (Leslie), and son, Joseph Ray, 2 granddaughters, Jayice Gayle and Blair Mitchell Raney, 2 step grandsons, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is also survived by his sister, Linda Lee Young (James) of Cincinnati, and brother Henry Leander, Jr of South Carolina He is also survived by his wife’s siblings, Suzy Hammelman Bailey (Paul), Steve (Vicki) Hammelman, and David (Angela) Hammelman. He is preceded in death by an infant daughter, Carrie Mitchell, his parents, and his younger brother, John Wayne Elam. He grew up in Lexington, and in 1973 he married Gayle Welch and they had 2 children. Later, in 1989, he married his second wife, Cheryl Hammelman, and they had one child, Joseph. His 10 year old son said “he is the best daddy in the world”.
First and foremost, Lester loved people and his family. He could carry on a long conversation with people of all walks of life and was known for his pranks and sense of humor. Quiet at first because he was “sizing up” the new acquaintances’ personality and interests, he would talk to them for hours about a multitude of subjects as he was well schooled in many topics. His interests laid in history, mainly Kentucky history and Christian archeology. He was a lover of music, classical movies, and move stars. His hobbies included golf, art, genealogy, watching and studying thoroughbred horses, Indy-Car racing, dogs, camping and shooting guns with his son, collecting eclectic pieces of jewelry, artwork, vintage golf clubs, silver pieces, and more. He also enjoyed the weather and became a Weather Spotter for the TV stations as a hobby. He loved working on cars, especially old sports cars and over his lifetime owned and tinkered with his Austin Healy, a vintage Jaguar, and 2 vintage Porches.
He graduated from Henry Clay High School but attended Bryan Station for 3 years. He spent seven years in the US Army during the Vietnam war, was a medic, and was an officer. He went to college and earned a BA in graphic arts from Eastern KY University and later a degree in Civil Engineering from UK. He worked at the City of Lexington as a civil engineer. After that he owned a golf repair business and a home repair business. He became a Mason in the Lexington Ky Lodge (name this) and went on to be a Shriner. He has been a lifelong member of a United Methodist Church starting at Epworth United Methodist where he said the family went when he was a child. He will be deeply missed by all his friends, family, and all who knew him.
Visitation will be at Scobee Funeral Home, Winchester KY on Saturday from 1:00-3:00 PM. The funeral will follow at 3:00 PM: Reverend Dr. Todd Raider will be officiating. After graveside services a Celebration Dinner will be held at Clark Energy, 2640 Ironworks Road, Winchester, KY 40391. To sign the online guestbook visit www.ScobeeFuneralHome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Shriners Hospital, 110 Conn Terrace, Lexington, KY 40508, or to Hospice East, 407 Shoppers Drive, Winchester, KY 40391.