Lester Dolton’s Jr. of Murrysville, PA died Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 at UPMC East in Monroeville, after a battle with lung cancer. He was 86.
Lester Dolton’s appetite for adventure was as big as the great outdoors he explored with his family.
His first passion was bowling, including games with the Patriots league he founded half a century ago at White Oak Bowl. It’s a sport he continued to enjoy into his 80s.
“He loved the socializing of it all,” daughter Janet Allan said, adding that he was known for his constant smile and for quickly making friends. “The bowling leagues were just a great way to meet people. He would go early and bowl two games before the three for the league.”
In between league seasons, Mr. Dolton turned to outdoor pursuits.
As he reached his 80s, he accompanied his family on annual Caribbean trips, including activities that might have been outside the comfort zone of someone half his age.
“He would say, ‘Whatever you decide to do, I’ll do it,’ ” Allan said. “He snorkeled one year. He kayaked my sisters around through the mangroves in Jamaica.”
He also ascended the 120 steps of the Mayan pyramid at Coba, Mexico, and completed a 940-foot climb to the top of Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica.
He traveled regularly to Colorado to visit daughter Sherri Ward. “He would come out every summer, and we would do some adventures,” Ward said. “He zip-lined in the mountains. He also white water rafted down the Poudre River.”
Born May 26, 1932, in Clairton, he was a son of the late Lester M. Dalton Sr. and Emma Dalton.
Serving in the Army during the Korean Conflict, Mr. Dolton learned to run wiring for command communication systems. He later became certified in the trade and landed a job as an electrician at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Works. He trained other employees to wire the mill’s equipment before he retired in 1995, after 33 years of service.
A member of Holiday Park United Methodist Church, Mr. Dolton was strong in his faith and his patriotic spirit. He was a state councilor and national chaplain for the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, a fraternal organization that honors the U.S. flag and supports a home for orphans.
“He loved his red, white and blue,” Allan said. “He had shirts that had flags on them, and he wore a flag lapel pin.”
Skilled at pitching horseshoes, “He would carry his own set of horseshoes in the trunk of his car,” Allan said. “He never lost at horseshoes that I knew of.”
Just a month before his death, Mr. Dolton continued to find joy in bowling. “We videoed him getting a split,” Allan said. “It was a perfect roll. It was just incredible.”
In addition to his parents, Mr. Dolton was preceded in death by his wife, Janet, and a son, Brian.
He is survived by five children, Bonnie Ferrington of Murrysville, Sherri Ward and her husband, Mark, of Greeley, Colo., Randy and his wife, Judy, of Latrobe, Janet Allan and her husband, Robert, of North Huntingdon, and Renee Dolton of Myrtle Beach.
Friends were received Sunday, 1-20-19 at the William Snyder Funeral Home, Irwin, PA. A funeral service was held Monday with Interment in Mt. Vernon Cemetery
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Author: James Hollows
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