Lester Bollinger, 67, of Dumas, passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020. A graveside service will be held at 2 oclock in the afternoon on Monday, December 28, 2020 at Dalhart Memorial Park Cemetery with Darrell Wait, pastor of First Christian Church, officiating. Mr. Bollinger will be available for viewing from 1 oclock until 6 oclock in the evening on Sunday, December 27, 2020 at Beeson ~ Morrison Funeral Directors.
Lester was born on April 14, 1953 in Dalhart, TX to Dayland Bollinger and Bobbie (Templeton) Rhodes where he graduated from Dalhart High School in 1972. Soon after high school, he met the love of his life, Beth Matthews, at the XIT rodeo in Dalhart, and were married on August 4, 1973.
Lester began work as a heating/AC technician, but quickly found his true career passion in welding. He took a job at the McKee Refinery (now Valero) where he spent the next 30+ years working as a welder.
On December 31, 2012 while driving to work, he was involved in a violent head-on collision that left him with a traumatic brain injury leading to life and career changes. Lester came back from the accident to pass the Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) exam in 2013 which opened career opportunities working as a welding inspector travelling the country and exploring many different states while on inspection projects.
Lesters passion and talents with welding touched many throughout Dumas and the surrounding areas. He helped teach welding classes at the local college while always making time to build trailers, grills, basketball goals, and jacks for anyone who wanted to learn welding.
Lester was truly a one-of-a kind with a contagious laugh, and a never-ending list of "Lester-isms." He was constantly reading books, wanting to learn new things, looking for a better way to make things work, and exploring ideas for his next invention. He would give anyone the shirt off his own back and the last dollar out of his wallet to anyone in need. His love for people was apparent, and he never met a stranger in his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents and grandson, William Phipps.
Lester is survived by his wife, Beth; daughter, Anji Taylor, her husband, Thomas, and their children Hayden and Wyatt, of Greenville, TX; daughter, Aimee Phipps, her husband, Derek, and their children Levi and Millie Kate, of Colorado Springs, CO; sister, Gay Ames, and her husband, Dean, of Dalhart, TX; sister, Carrie Beth Blackshear, of Wellington, TX; and several nieces and nephews.
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