Thomas William Lester, an American actor and evangelist best known as Eb Dawson on
the television series "Green Acres," has died. He was 81. Lester died of complications from Parkinson's Disease on April 20, 2020 in the Nashville, Tennessee home of his fiancée and long-term caregiver Jackie Peters.
Lester appeared in nearly every "Green Acres" episode between 1965–71 and appeared in two feature films, "Gordy" and "Benji." He was the last surviving regular cast member of Green Acres.
In 1948, Lester became a born-again Christian. During and after his role as Eb, he became more involved traveling the nation, preaching a message of Christian faith and obedience.
Lester was a conservationist and spent many enjoyable years on his farm in Jasper County, where, in 1997, he was the recipient of Mississippi's "Wildlife Farmer of the Year" award.
Lester was born Sept. 23, 1938 in Laurel, one of two sons of Pat W. Lester (1913-2009), an accountant with Gulf Oil, and Mary Sue (Thornton) Lester (1914- 2009), a manager with Home Interiors and Gifts.
He is survived by his brother Michael T. Lester, a retiree of Corporate Energy in Hattiesburg; two great-nieces, Haleigh and McKenzie; one great-great-niece, Scarlett; and one great-great-nephew, Wes in Newnan, Ga.
Death leaves a heartache,
No one can heal.
Love leaves a memory,
No one can steal.
There will be a graveside service attended by family and close friends at noon on Friday, April 24, 2020 at Hickory Grove Cemetery in Laurel.
The service will be officiated by Dr. Randy Turner of First Baptist Church of Laurel, where Tom was a member for most of his life. There will be a celebration of life service held at a later date to be determined.
Service arrangements by Memory Chapel Funeral Home in Laurel.
To sign the online guestbook, visit www.memorychapellaurel.com.
Tom was a very long time friend. Will always remember him by nickname “Tiger”!
I was very sorry to read about his passing. I must say that I've never had the pleasure of meeting him, although I have seen him on television in "Green Acres". I was impressed and inspired by the way he lived, such a useful life of service to his faith and others. He sounds to me like a man of immense purpose and inner strength to be able to balance the demands of an acting career with his calling. Condolences to his family and community, he sounds as though he will be dearly missed.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Tom was a great person. My great aunt, Mary Yount, taught him in kindergarten and I met him at her funeral. She always spoke fondly of him. Praying for the family.
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