Cover photo for Joyce Lester's Obituary
Joyce Lester Profile Photo
1928 Joyce Lester 2024

Joyce Lester

November 26, 1928 — April 4, 2024

Houston, TX

Joyce Lester, 95, of West Columbia Texas passed peacefully from this life while surrounded by her loving family on Thursday, April 4, 2024. Joyce  lived in West Columbia for 52 years before moving to Houston. She was known for both her inner and outer beauty as well as her remarkable sense of humor, which kept her family and friends in stitches much of the time. She was devoted to her family, friends and church. Her son,Teddy, called her, “the rock of our family”, because she was loving, wise, smart, and had an incredible sense of humility. She was a schoolteacher for 32 years, teaching in grades K-8, with her final ten years as a Title 1 teacher. She loved helping her students solve problems and many times used that unique sense of humor to illustrate solutions.  

  Joyce attended Southwest Texas State (Texas State) earning both a teaching and business degree. Little known to most, she was also a classically trained opera singer. She was an avid gardener who only stopped at the age of 93 when she moved into an assisted living facility. She loved to go fishing and, known for her luck, came home many times with twice the catch of family and friends. She was also a member of the Capitol Study Club and she and her second husband, Ralph, helped to restore, maintain and lead tours of the historic Ammon-Underwood home in East Columbia.

  Joyce is survived by her two daughters, Eleese Lester-Baier( husband Richard Baier) of Houston and Nancy Gillett (husband David) of Sydney, Australia, her precious granddaughters Heather Irving (husband Ben) and their sons Liam and Noah of Austin, Texas and Lesley Gurney (husband Dave) and their daughters Scarlett and Savannah of Sydney, Australia, and her grandson Brendan Gillett (wife Caroline) of Sunshine Coast, Australia and their daughter, Mila. She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Charles Milton Lester and her first husband Ralph Warne, her parents Beulah and Riley Webb, son Teddy Lester, sisters, Louise Mohan, Clarice Pearl Clark and Ruby Earl Bostick and brothers Riley and John Webb.

Relatives and friends are invited to her viewing on Wednesday April 10th from 5-7 p.m. at C.T. Baker Funeral Home 634 S. Columbia Dr. West Columbia.  Her funeral service will begin at 11a.m. on Thursday April 11th at the Columbia Methodist Church, 315 S. 16th St. West Columbia.  Interment to follow at the Old Columbia Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made in Joyce’s name to the Columbia  Methodist Church.

Condolences for the family may be left at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

C.T. Baker & Sons Funeral Home - West Columbia

634 S Columbia Dr, West Columbia, TX 77486

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Funeral Service

Thursday, April 11, 2024

11:00 - 11:45 am (Central time)

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

12:00 - 12:15 pm (Central time)

Old Columbia Cemetery, West Columbia TX


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