Lester Wilburn Denton
August 31, 1923 – October 11, 2023
Lester Denton, of Sunderland Md., passed away on October 11, 2023. He was born August 31, 1923 to the late Wilburn W. and Louise Ireland Denton. Upon graduating from Calvert High School in 1941 he started a job at the Naval Amphibious Training base in Dowell Md. A year later he attended the University of Maryland for a short time before enlisting in the US Army in 1943. While on many a forced march in Georgia and later overseas, he would shed his combat boots and complete the marches in his bare feet! This should come as no surprise to anyone who knew our Dad. He served in New Guinea and then in the Philippines during World War II. Fortunately for him, and for us, the bombs that ended the war prevented him from having to participate in the amphibious landings planned to invade the Japanese homeland. Dad was always proud of his service but, like many vets, those days grew larger as he aged. It was a watershed experience and helped shape the man that he became.
When Dad returned from the South Pacific, he would have been perfectly happy never to leave Calvert County again – and, except for the years of commuting with Mom and others to Andrews Air Force Base, he rarely did! Upon returning home to Calvert Conty in 1946, he began a long career with the federal government spanning over 3 decades. He and his wife, the late Doris Hance Denton, also a Federal employee, were instrumental in helping many Calvert County residents secure employment with the federal government. It’s heartwarming to have people tell us how Mom and Dad helped them start their careers.
Dad was a true pioneer in the growth of the men’s slow pitch softball leagues in Calvert County. He was involved until reaching the age of 75. Our Dad will always be remembered as barefoot Denton. It was not unusual to see Dad pitching softball barefoot, thus the name! We now know why one of his softball teams was named “Turners Twiggies!” No doubt he had a true passion for softball and baseball and loved all the players on his teams! Who can forget when the Twiggies played Randal Cliffs and some how Dad got a hit, rounded third, and the opposing catcher stuck his tongue out at Dad while Dad flew toward home, leapt into the air, and slammed into this big guy. Benches cleared and the Twiggies lost but they felt good about the loss! Dad was one of the first to stand up and integrate his team in the late 60’s.
He also enjoyed duckpin bowling, gardening (beautiful flower and vegetable gardens) and nature! He enjoyed delivering his freshly grown vegetables to the community. He had the prettiest daylilies and knew the name of each one!! His legacy will live on as many in Sunderland and beyond have transplants from his daylilies and peonies! He enjoyed birding, especially bluebirds! He was a voracious reader and he ran across an article that chronicled the extinction of blue birds in Southern Maryland. From that moment, he became part of a legion of people who worked to save this beautiful bird for our county. No ties for his birthday or Christmas, give him a Calvert build bluebird box! When he moved to The Hermitage nearly 7 years ago, the first thing he had us do was put a blue bird box on the wood edge out his window. He had several bluebird trails he followed each year. One year National Geographic photographed an albino bluebird nesting in one of his boxes.
He was preceded in death by his aforementioned Mother and Father, wife, his brother Carl and younger brother, Jack Denton. He is survived by his son , Don Denton (Jean) of Washington DC, son Dale Denton (Morgan) of Washington DC, and his daughter, Nancy Fowler (Tim) of Sunderland, MD. Grandchildren: Jenna Madani (Sia), Jessica Whitesell (Rod), Kim Fowler, William Denton, Zachary Denton, and Shelby Denton. Great Grandchildren: Tyler; twins Jay and Emily Whitesell; and Oliver and Isabel Madani. In addition, he is survived by his sister Iris Smith and numerous nieces and nephews.
Dad’s life was his wife, his family, and his beloved county. He died peacefully with all of those memories. Another from the greatest generation has passed away. We will be forever grateful for his service to our country. Though you have been silenced, your war stories are forever etched in our memories. Let us never forget your sacrifices and courage.
The family would like to thank all the staff at The Hermitage/ALF in Dowell Md for their loving care for the past 6+years. Dad spoke positively of all the staff who all became “family”. To our Hermitage family: You will be missed! Additionally, we would like to thank Dr. Munshi and the Shah group for the expert medical care and friendships with our mom and dad throughout their lifetime…they loved you all! Thank you to Ms. Lorraine Coates for her help over the years with mom and dad.
Lester’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory be made to the organizations listed below under Contributions.
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Northern Calvert Little League
9765 Smith Way
Dunkirk, MD 20754
Sheldon E. Goldberg Center for Breast Care
C/O Calvert Health Foundation
100 Hospital Road P.O. Box 2127
Prince Frederick, MD 20678