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Lester Guida

July 18, 1921-June 24, 2008

Lester I. Guida, 86, of Park Rapids, passed away Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at the Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids, surrounded by his loved ones.

Lester Irvin Guida, son of Clarence Irvin and Mary Ethel (Paden) Guida, was born July 18, 1921 at Heron Lake, Minn. He was raised in South Dakota and southern Minnesota, where he attended school. On Aug. 31, 1941, he married Corean Lyden in Pelican Rapids. To this union, 11 children were born.

A World War II veteran, Lester served his country in the Panama Canal Zone from the spring of 1942 until his honorable discharge on Nov. 1, 1945. Following the war, he farmed in Ruthton and Tyler, Minn., and owned gas stations in Detroit Lakes and Tyler. Later he worked as a construction superintendent for John T. Jones Construction, based in Fargo, in a career that spanned more than 30 years. He was responsible for building many area schools, banks, hotels and other large construction projects.

Lester was a member of the First English Lutheran Church of Dorset and a member of the Gideons International. In 1970, he married Lorraine Melander, who passed away in 2000. Following Lorraine's death, Lester moved to Park Rapids where, at age 80, he built a log home and for several years worked in the log building industry.

Lester continued to pursue many interests, which included: woodworking, genealogy, antique cars, hunting, fishing and feeding birds. A little known fact is that he could also yodel, and enjoyed performing at family functions. His quick wit and positive demeanor were an inspiration to all he came to know. While in Park Rapids, Lester married Norma Henke. This union brought him great joy in his last five years. Norma was the best caregiver a family could ever hope for.

Lester is survived by his wife, Norma Henke of Park Rapids; his seven sons, Donovan (Lynette) Guida of Park Rapids, Gary (Becky) Guida of Crosby, Minn., Dean (Jeanie) of Buffalo, Minn., Glen (Jan) Guida of Barnesville, Roger (Chris) Guida of Hawley, Curt (Wendy) Guida of Monkey Island, Okla., and Richard (Shelley) Guida of Hawley; four daughters, Peggy (Vern) Peterson of Middle River, Minn., Sandy (Steve) Swanson of Detroit Lakes, Mary Guida Kittleson of Portland, Ore., and Debra (Charles) Thompson of Florida; four stepchildren, Darrel (Lea) Remily of Hutchinson, Minn., Shari (Ralph) Sanquist of Nevis, Minn., Rhonda (Norm) Thompson of Solway, Minn. and Mary (Jim) Nelson of Albert Lea, Minn.; one sister, Thelma Halsne; 44 grandchildren; 73 great grandchildren; and many relatives and friends.

Preceding Lester in death were his parents; his sister, Faye Slaybaugh; and his wives, Corean and Lorraine.

Visitation will take place from 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 27, at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids, continuing for one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.

Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 28, at the First English Lutheran Church in Dorset, with the Rev. Chris Davis officiating. A luncheon will be hosted by the church following the service for all to attend. Interment will be made in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Detroit Lakes, with military honors provided by American Legion Post 15 of Detroit Lakes.

Funeral arrangements are being provided by the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home, serving Park Rapids.