(Richard) Hal Lesser died on Tuesday Dec. 23, surrounded by his family and wife of 62 years, Joanne Lesser. He was born on June 29, 1930, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Clarence Lesser and Gertrude Reid. He graduated from Hayward Union High School in Hayward, Calif., and from the University of Utah in mechanical engineering. Hal was a devoted and affectionate husband and father. An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was a dedicated home teacher known for his outreach efforts.
Hal served in the United States Air Force as a captain and pilot. During his lifelong career at United Airlines, he held several management positions and retired as the director of plant and equipment services, maintenance operations in San Francisco. He was known for his loyalty, work ethic and innovative practices, which he passed on to his posterity. Hal loved the Sierra Mountains and enjoyed teaching his children and grandchildren life lessons in Yosemite National Park. He enjoyed taking motorcycle tours with his seatmate Joanne, traveling 60,000 miles across the west.
Whether at work or a Sunday school class, his presence was always felt, and his quick, witty comments livened every situation. Ever the optimistic leader, he saw each problem as an opportunity to help those around him.
He is survived by his wife, Joanne, his children, Rick (Karen) Lesser, Cynthia Lesser, Cristine (Peter) Robinson, Diana (James Lucas Leavitt) Telfer, Steven (Danielle) Lesser, 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Reid and John Lesser.
Memorial services were held on Monday, Dec. 29, at 10 a.m. at the LDS Chapel at 721 South 1200 East, Salt Lake City, Utah. Graveside Services followed at 11:30 a.m. in Salt Lake City Cemetery with military honors.