In Memory of

Lester A. Shipley

March 17, 1932 - June 26, 2023


Lester Allen Shipley passed away on June 26, 2023.  He was 91.  The son of Oren Homer and Martha (Plattner) Shipley and the youngest of 10 children, Lester was born on March 17, 1932, in Everett, Cass County, Missouri.  When Lester was four years old, his father passed away.  Growing up in rural Cass County on the edge of the Amarugia Highlands, he attended a one-room schoolhouse until high school.

Lester graduated from Archie High School in 1950 and married Thelma Hodges, his high school sweetheart, in 1952.  In the early 1950s, they lived near Mainz, Germany as part of Lester’s service in the Army, where Lester drove an MG. They explored Europe at every possible opportunity and took thousands of pictures, meticulously chronicled by Thelma in scrapbooks. After discharge from the Army, Lester shipped his MG back to the States and promptly sold it to buy a truck to launch his construction business. He and Thelma set up their household in Lee’s Summit in 1956.  A talented carpenter, Lester contributed much to his community during his career as a general contractor. He built countless houses, each to his exacting standards, creating beautiful, superior-quality homes for so many families and impacting their lives for good. Through his best friend, Buck Langsford, Lester began to build commercial buildings, including Langsford Funeral Home in Lee’s Summit.  His construction legacy and work ethic live on in his two sons and his grandsons.

Lester served as a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Lee’s Summit and taught sixth grade Sunday School for boys. He and Thelma served as sponsors of church youth camp for several years. Lester’s priority was always his dear wife and his family.  Lester and Thelma dedicated their time to attending every single game that their three children played, from little league baseball/softball to college, traversing several states. In the late 1980s, he and Thelma were among the founders of Cornerstone Baptist Church. Lester and Thelma were the bedrock of Lee’s Summit’s High School Athletics, attending almost all games and keeping score for the girls’ basketball team, supporting team after team, year after year. In his later years, Lester volunteered for a variety of local charities, and it was not uncommon to hear him utter “Amen” in response to questions.

Lester was preceded in death by his wife Thelma, his sweet granddaughter, Lindsey Wall, and his nine siblings. He is survived by his son Kent and wife Dee, son Kevin and wife Teri, and his daughter Lisa Wall and her husband Roy, eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held on July 14, 2023 from 4-6pm at Langsford Funeral Home, Lee’s Summit, Missouri. A family-only graveside service is planned at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Lester’s name to Coldwater at, a faith-based non-profit food pantry and clothes closet started by Cornerstone Baptist Church or to Catholic Community Health, a non-profit hospice care, at


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Kent, we are so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. We are praying for you and your family,

I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad was a wonderful man. May God help you through this difficult time.

I was sorry to see Lester had passed. I think of him and Thelma often. I enjoyed knowing them at First Baptist when I was a child. They were great people to be lead by at church. God has another fantastic angel in heaven.

Been thinking of you all and praying for God’s peace and comfort to be upon your family.

So sorry to hear of the passing of your father Kent, will be praying for your family!

Lester’s passing is a great loss to all of mankind. He built a house for us in 1967, not only doing a super job, but also making the whole experience enjoyable. His honesty and total character were above reproach. This world would be so much better if it had more Lester Shirley’s in it..GOD did well when he created Lester. Interesting that i was just thinking about him this morning..

Prayers for God’s comfort & blessings for family & friends.

Dear Ones.
Im so sorry for your loss, and share your sadness. I am thankful for Uncle Lester’s long and faithful life. He and Aunt Thelma were very special to me, to my parents and sister, and to all of our family. I pray God’s peace and comfort for each of us, in the days ahead.
With love and prayers from Kay (Wright), Pete & John-Paul Hayworth.

Lester & Thelma I remember as being one of the first of many families to welcome my family to Cornerstone.
They were definitely the rock of the church.
Their love and kindness was felt throughout the community and was obvious they instilled their morales into their children and grandchildren. I feel so fortunate to have been blessed by their friendship.
I know he will happy to be with Thelma once again.
Amen to that Lester,
Debbie League

Lisa & Roy,
So sorry for your loss. WOW! What a wonderful life and such an example to us all. I know how close you were to him. Prayers for you and your family.

Sincere condolences to your family. I’m sorry I was out of town & missed the visitation. My prayers continue for all of you as you mourn the loss of Lester.


Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063


Friday, July 14, 2023
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Celebration of Life
Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063