Lester E. Key, 87, Wonder Lake, died Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at Kindred Hospital, Sycamore.
He was born May 30, 1927, in Norman, Okla.
On Dec. 4, 1972, he married Nancy Fischer in Chicago.
A U.S. Army veteran, he served during the Korean War. After discharge, he lived for a time in California before becoming a resident of Chicago where he met his wife. For the past 37 years, he resided in Wonder Lake.
Prior to retirement, he was an electrician at the Palmer House in Chicago for more than 30 years, retiring at age 65. He was a 55-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
As a young man, he developed an interest in martial arts. After extensive study under renowned champions in the field, he earned three black belts in the disciplines of aikido, judo and karate. He enthusiastically encouraged his own son’s interest in the field, leading to his son’s current ownership of a martial arts studio.
His other interests included fishing and following the Chicago Bears and Oklahoma Sooners football. Having grown up in Oklahoma, Lester loved to ride horses, and, in his younger years, he broke several horses.
Survivors include a son, Jerry (Diane) Key, Johnsburg; three grandchildren, Tyler, Thomas and Tristan Key and one on the way.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife on Aug. 6, 2000; and a son, Kurt Key.
Visitation was Aug. 4 and the funeral was Aug. 5 at Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, McHenry. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery, Woodstock.
Memorials can be made to a charitable organization of the donor’s choice or to Lester’s grandson, Tristan Key, who Lester would have been so proud to support in Tristan’s quest to earn a spot on the USA Taekwondo Junior National Team in September.