Ronald Lee Vest, aged 83, of Prairie Village, Kansas, passed away December 26th from the results of Parkinson’s Disease. He was married to Janet Ahern Vest for 62 years. Known as Lee to his friends, he was “Dad” to Dale Patrick of Overland Park, Kansas, Ronald Christopher (Cathy Piolino) of Dolores, Colorado, Jeffery Wayne (Nancy Van Buskirk) of Victor, Idaho, Dana Scott (Kristin Blocker Vest) of Oswego, Illinois, and Kerry Meredith Bernard (Daniel Costello) of Maynard, Massachusetts. Similarly, Lee was known as “Papa” to Sam, Trevor, Mia and Brenna.
Lee was born to Bernard and Beulah Vest, nee Donley, in Vinton, Iowa. He was raised in the Midwest with his younger siblings, Sandra and Gary. This great man taught his children everything from camping skills to multiplication tables. Above all else, Lee imbued all younger Vest generations with a sense of empathy and social justice.
Lee joined the United States Air Force at 18, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant and teaching radar gunnery for the Strategic Air Command. After honorary discharge, he married Janet in 1956, and together they made a life in the Kansas City area.
Lee’s compassion made him an effective Stephen’s Minister during his long fellowship with Colonial Presbyterian Church in Kansas City. After retiring from Universal Underwriters, Lee was able to indulge his passion for the woods, books and doting on his beloved Janet. Lee’s retirement was also devoted to adopting no fewer than 10 greyhounds; animals discarded by the cruel racing industry.
Beloved father, husband, grandfather, uncle, brother and friend, Lee lived a faithful, rich life and will be missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memories of Lee and donations to Kansas City’s Retired Greyhounds as Pets (REGAP) www.kcregrap.org.
I went to the woods because I wish to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not,
when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau.
Cousin ,Pleasant Hill ,Iowa
I’m so sorry to learn of your loss. I’m very happy Lee was able to come to a family reunion. He was a kind and thoughtful man. Your family is in my prayers.