Mary R. Lester, 84, thoroughbred breeder

July 24, 2004

Mary R. Lester, a homemaker and thoroughbred breeder and owner, died of pneumonia Monday at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The former Severna Park resident was 84.

She was born Mary Reuding in Baltimore and reared on Chilton Street near the old Municipal Stadium. She was a 1938 graduate of Eastern High School, where she had been an active member of the alumni association.

In 1942, she married William Kenneth Lester Sr. Mr. Lester, general manager of the J.E. Smith Box Co. in Millersville, died in May.

The couple established Will-Mar Stables - formed by her name and her husband's - in Baltimore County. Their racing silks were pink and white, and for more than 20 years, they raced their horses at Pimlico, Bowie and Laurel courses.

In 2001, they moved to Annapolitan Assisted Living in Annapolis. For the past 18 months, Mrs. Lester had been a resident of Sunrise assisted living, also in Annapolis.

Mrs. Lester was an accomplished needleworker whose work had won ribbons at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium. She also enjoyed traveling.

She was a communicant of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Severna Park, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday.

Mrs. Lester is survived by a son, William K. Lester Jr. of Harper, Tex.; a daughter, Robin Woodard of Stevensville; a sister, Betty Robinette of Providence, R.I.; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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