Peter Dominic Lester

January 16, 2019


Peter Dominic Lester died peacefully at home in Shoe Cove after a short illness on January 16th 2019, aged 78, surrounded by family and friends. Peter was born and raised in Birmingham, England however for the last 43 years he has called Newfoundland and Labrador home.

He is deeply missed by his wife Rosemary, son Kevin, daughter-in-law Sarah and his beloved grandson Peter; daughter Sarah and son-in-law Julian; sister Mary; and his many Shoe Cove friends. The family would like to thank the staff of 4 North East at the Health Sciences Centre, particularly Dr Chaudhary Ahmad, Dr Karen Downton, Dr Jennifer Parsons and social worker Bonnie Hobbs, as well as Kayla Barnes from Angel of Hope Homecare Agency.

He graduated from Birmingham University as a civil engineer and completed his post-graduate studies at Imperial College, London, before embarking on a career which took him around the world.   For more than 25 years Peter served as Chief Bridge Engineer with the Department of Transportation and Works. Following his retirement in 2004 he continued to work on major bridge projects across Canada.

Peter has been described as a man of wisdom and dedication, who possessed a positive attitude, sound judgment and a great sense of humor. Peter was an amicable and jovial person at heart. His distinctive and infectious laughter was often heard before he was seen. Peter had an ever-curious mind encompassing many interests.  He loved foreign and local travel, books, and languages. He was well known for his love of soccer – from coaching local teams, to being a lifelong supporter of Birmingham City Football Club.  Passionate about music, he was an enthusiastic member of Choir la Rose des Vents.   He also volunteered at the Geo Centre, where he shared his knowledge of geology and science for several years. His other interests included swimming, hiking and sailing.

Cremation has already taken place. The family would like to invite friends and colleagues of Peter to join in a celebration of his life at Ecole des Grand Vents, 65 Ridge Road, St. John’s on Thursday January 24th from 5 – 7pm.

Donations in memory of Peter can be made to Seniors NL (formerly the Seniors Resource Centre) where he volunteered for many years.



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I have just learned of this sad news today.

I worked with Peter for about two decades. Peter was a great mentor and a good friend. From time to time I still remember Peter, his positive attributes and laughter.

May your soul rest in peace.

God Bless.

So sorry for your loss. Peter was a lovely man, and he will be missed by all who knew him. Hugs Rosemary and family

Deary Rosemary and family,
I am very shocked and sorry this morning to learn of Peter’s passing.
I met Peter just before he joined the Department of Transportation. Over the many years that he worked has Chief Bridge Engineer, I visited him many times each month to discuss special products for the bridge industry.
During a visit with him in August, 1988 Peter introduced me to the “Bailey Bridge Systems”.
I have recently retired, but Peter was always top of mind during many special bridge construction projects over the years.
He was an inspiration to me and all who was associated with him.He will be missed.
Please accept my sincere condolences.

Eric Snelgrove – Truro, NS

To Sarah and family,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father! Although it has been many years since our paths have crossed, I will always remember him, and your mother, as one of my first soccer coaches for several years. It was so nice of him to give us all the time he did. My parents have more recently enjoyed seeing him with your mother at the opera. They were saddened to hear of the news. We were unable to be there tonight to pay our condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you! Fiona, Anne and Joe Curtis.

Dear Rosemary and family
We were very sorry to hear that Peter had passed away. Our friendship goes back over 50 years as recently arrived engineers from England. Together with fellow Brits Ray and the other Peter we were a pretty close bunch.Like Peter and Sandra said he saved our bacon, as it were, in Mexico in 1970 !
Whenever I think of Peter I see his face burst into a smile and hear him say “I remember when…” as he begins another amusing story of the antics we got up to as young men enjoying our new lives in Toronto. And he would start to chuckle.

We miss you Peter.
Geoffrey and Stella

Dear Rosemary and family,

We are deeply saddened to hear of Peter’s passing.

Our association goes back to 1967. We both arrived in Canada in the spring of 1967 to work for the Ontario Department of Highways. Pete was dispatched to Timmins and I to Sudbury. At the end of the construction season we both got pulled in to the Toronto bridge office. Pete attended our wedding in 1968 and our friendship has continued over the years. Although we didn’t get together very often, the camaraderie was immediate every time we met up. The word affable must have been coined with Pete in mind. Always bright and cheerful, never a complaint, that was Pete. Among many good memories were pickup soccer games on the DHO lawn in Downsview, hockey after midnight at Leaside Gardens – Pete was not the most stylist skater but not lacking in determination. We took in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico along with fellow Brits, Ray and Geoff. Pete’s surprising and excellent Spanish saved us from an aggressive policía in Mexico City. We always looked to get back to another World Cup but sadly it never happened.

Peter and Sandra Crook

Dear Rosemary and family,

Rebecca and I wish to extend our sincere condolences to you and your family on Peter’s passing.

I worked in the Bridge Office in the mid-1970s as an engineering student. I subsequently met Peter in the late-1970s when he was the Chief Bridge Engineer there. Little did I know at that time that my engineering career would come full circle, and I would be working for Peter in the Bridge Office from 1996 to 2008. Peter was an exceptionally talented engineer, a man of integrity and a lifelong learner. He enjoyed life to the fullest. He was an inspiration to all. He had a distinctive laugh that anyone could recognize sight unseen. Peter also introduced me to the Senior Resource Centre, where Rebecca and I have volunteered over the years.

Peter will be missed by us. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Gordon Jin and Rebecca Law

So sorry to hear about Peter. I will always remember that a smile came to my face every time we met. We are thinking of your family at this difficult time.

Dear Rosemary,
So sorry to hear your sad news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Much love,
John & Marlene.

Dear Rosemary and family,

Ruby and I wish to extend our heartfelt sympathy to you all on Peter’s passing.

I knew Peter for all the time he worked at Transportation. He was respected by all in the Department, and his outgoing personality and highly developed appreciation of humor made a positive contribution to the environment within the office. He was indeed good company: both in work place coffee breaks, and outside in social gatherings. He will always be remembered.

Sam and Ruby Pearson

Dear Rosemary, Kevin, Sarah and Mary

I was saddened to hear of Peter’s passing as I have so many fond memories of the family from going up and visits to Birmingham and beyond. From all of us here in Bath we’ll certainly raise a glass to his memory tomorrow and I’ve asked Mum to forward a couple of pictures I found recently.

Extending our most heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Our thoughts are with you all!

Rosemary and family. Peter was a great help to me on bridge matters before and after his retirement when I was an engineer responsible for bridges for the City of St. John’s. I have fond memories of our chats and Peter’s practical advice. I shall remember him in my prayers and Masses.

Dear Rosemary, Kevin and Sarah with families, and Mary
Please accept our heartfelt sympathy for your loss. Words cannot describe our sadness as we have known you for over 40 years. We shall always remember Peter for his great sense of humour, explosive laughter, brilliant mind, and multilingualism. Our get-togethers, be it dinners, outdoor ventures, chess games, and most of all enlightening conversations about life or travel experiences we shared over these years will never be forgotten. Peter was always a gracious host and a true gentleman. He embodied the good, true, and beautiful what life has to offer. Salud, Prosit, Na zdravi, and Sante to his soul wherever it may roam!!!
Jiri and Blanca Skoda
non omnis moriar (not all of me will die)

Dear Rosemary and family my sincere condolences on the loss of your husband and father. I did not have the privilege of knowing him but knowing Rosemary I know he would be a very special person. May happy and positive memories support you and you go through this very difficult time. Hugs to you Rosemary and I will raise a glass in honor of Peter

Rosemary, I think of Peter as your husband, as your stalwart supporter, and as a kind, warm presence across from the table or at a “seniors” celebration! I am not surprised at the kind words spoken by HIS work colleagues. I am thinking of you and your children, Sarah and Kevin, and their families.

Deep condolences to Rosemary, Kevin, Sarah, and the rest of your family from Gary & Julie Kennedy. I’ve worked with him on-and-off since 1989 during and since his DTW career. Peter Lester was a special guy who I viewed as a role model both as a professional and as a family man. If I got into a work or personal pinch I would ask myself, “What would Peter do in this situation?”. He treated me, and everybody, so well and had a great sense of humour. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

It was a pleasure to work with Peter at the Department of Transportation and Works. He made me laugh each time we talked. The last time we spoke is when he introduced me to his little grandson at the airport. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. RIP Peter.

Rosemary, I worked with Peter from the time I started work at Transportation until Peter retired. You would always hear Peter’s laugh before you saw him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

Rosemary, Kevin & Sarah, so sorry to hear of Peter’s passing. Our thoughts are with you at this time. I’m sure you have many wonderful memories to keep him close. My sister Madeline White was sorry to hear about his passing.

It is hard to imagine our merry band of Shoe Cove folks without Peter in the back singing a strong, reliable base line. We will all truly miss him. He was a gentleman with a fabulous unmistakable laugh and a love of life which will continue to serve as a wonderful example – living on in all of us who knew and loved him. All my love and support to Rosemary, Kevin, Sarah and the family during this sad time. And Peter, wherever you are, I hope they have the most delicious peas!

Dear Rosemary, sending you my sympathy on the passing of Peter.. May your memories bring you comfort and in time make you smile.
Irene C. Rose

Rosemary and family, so sorry to hear of Peter’s death. He was a great character, a great soccer coach and an enthusiastic Birmingham City supporter. He will be missed, especially for his infectious laugh, keen humour and friendliness to all. Dee and my thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Les and Dee

I worked with Peter for many years at the Department of Transportation. I always found Peter to be very pleasant and one who always had a smile for you. He was also very well liked and respected by his coworkers. Please accept my sincere condolences on his passing. God bless.

On behalf of my parents, Fred and Mary Woodruff, I would like to express our deep condolences. Peter was so kind to go to Kenny’s Pond and play chess with dad on many occasions. He will be missed.

My condolences to Rosemary and all Peters family. I have to say that I enjoyed having to bring a problem to Perers attention during my many years with the Department . His great sense of humor and jovial laugh would lift my spirits.. That ,and knowing that his wisdom and knowledge would easily solve the problem was a great sense of comfort . Sad to hear of his passing . May he rest in peace. A great and faithful servant.

My condolences Rosemary and family. My limited time with Peter,the musician, was always enjoyable and I will forever think of him when I hear a seaman’s shanty.
Jane Ogilvie

My condolences to Peter’s family. I worked with Peter in Highway Design. He always had a smile and a laugh that you could hear all over the place. He was very friendly and great to work with. Rest in peace Peter.

Goodbye Peter, Godspeed. You have left a huge void in our lives. Although we miss you we will never forget you, your hospitality, your infectious laughter, your rich melodious voice, your affability, your love of family both immediate and extended, your fortitude, your courage and determination, and the example you have left us on how to live life to the full ignoring adversity with a shrug.
Heartfelt hugs to Rosemary and all in Peter’s family. Di and Pat.

Rosemary, Kevin, Sarah & Family:
My sincere condolences on the loss of your husband, father and grandfather. May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared, comfort you now, and in the days ahead.

Dear Rosemary and family, as a fellow ex pat Brit talking with Peter was always a delight. Shared moments summer sailing in coastal Newfoundland were always fun. I am grateful to have known him. My sincere condolences.

During my one and only MUN Engineering work term in the summer of 1982, I met Peter at the Bridge Office of the Nfld. Dept. of Transportation in Atlantic Place. He was a character around the office – relaxed and approachable. I enjoyed learning from him. Condolences to his family.

To the family:
I worked with Peter at highway design, he was a very friendly and pleasant person to work with. I have many fond memories. He will certainly be missed, please accept my sincere condolences

Dear Rosemary and family, We are so sorry for your loss. Peter was such a lovely person with many interests and a great joie de vivre. May your lifelong happy memories of him bring you comfort in days and weeks to come. Cheers Peter. You look fabulous in your photo. RIP.

Rosemary, Kevin. and Sarah;
We extend to you and all other family members, our sincere condolences on the loss of your loved one. May the sharing of all your wonderful memories, help you at this sad time.
Lex and Fay Hudson

Dear Rosemary, Sarah, Kevin and families.
What a gift it was to gather around Peter on New Year’s Eve to join in singing Christmas carols and songs. He continued to display his joy, love of family and friends, and beautiful voice. His gifts to us all are immeasurable. We extend our condolences and hope that you are comforted by memories, friends and family. Love, Carolyn and Gloria

Peter was kind and encouraging to all those around the soccer field. It was really nice speaking with him last spring for the first time in years.
My sincere condolences to his family and friends.
Rest In Peace, Coach.
-Thomas Anderson

Mr Lester was a long time work colleague of our father, George W. Parsons in the Bridge Office. We remember many a fond story from our dad about his good friend, Peter. Thinking of your family during this difficult time.

My sincere condolences to family and friends on Peter’s passing. I worked with him as a fellow engineer for a few years at Transportation and Works and enjoyed his care free attitude, his sense of humor, friendliness and his dedication to the engineering profession. He was a great guy and had a huge personality that made him well liked.

Sorry to hear of Peter’s passing. He was always entertaining to talk to when I worked with him at Transportation.

Rosemary and family,
Peter will certainly live on in our memories for his sense of humour, professionalism, and active spirit. You will have deeper and more vibrant memories to bring you comfort at this time. My sympathy to all of you.

Dear Rosemary, we send our heartfelt sympathy to you Sarah & Kevin.
We have fond memories of times spent with Peter & his joie de vivre.
May his loving memories bring you comfort & strength at this very sad time.

Rosemary, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

So sorry to hear of Peter’s passing. My sympathy to all the family.

Rosemary and Family:

Wishing you comfort and courage as you face the days ahead without Peter and loving memories to hold in your heart. I was a colleague of Peter’s for many years at the Department of Transportation.

My deepest condolences to Rosemary, Kevin, Sarah and the rest of the family at this difficult time.

Sorry to hear of Peters passing
Will miss him and his daily walks with Kia
On diamonds rd