The Republican (Springfield, MA)
Lester R. "Les" Mapes, 74, of Monson, passed away with his loving wife by his side on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
He was born in Elgin Township, IL on June 9, 1937, a son of the late Earl A. and Martha (Zaeske) Mapes.
He was a proud graduate of Millikin University in Decatur, IL, and served his country in the United States Army during peacetimes, attaining the rank of Private First Class as a cook and a member of the Army band at Fort Dix. After his service, he worked tirelessly, eventually becoming Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Uhlich Color Company (NY).
Inspired by his youth spent working on a dairy farm surrounded by animals, his true passion became dogs and conformation showing. He started showing Great Danes in 1963 and also owned and exhibited Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers and West Highland White Terriers. Les went on to become a dog show judge and served as a Licensed American Kennel Club Judge who judged many dog show events throughout the world, including the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
Les was a communicant of St. Cecilia's Church in Wilbraham, where he also served as a member of the Knights of Columbus St. Cecilia's Council #10195. Les was also a talented musician and theater performer who sang, tap danced, and played the bass, trumpet and saxophone. He played five different musical instruments, studied voice and dance for more than ten years, and performed with the Rhythm Kings jazz dance band. He was also involved in local community theater, where he played Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and Willie in "The Sunshine Boys".
Les leaves behind his heartbroken wife Judy (Arrow) Harrington in Monson, and will be forever missed by his daughter, Lisa Marie Sopiarz of Carol Stream, IL; his son, Paul Mapes of Winfield, IL; his four grandchildren; his sister, Bernice Fitzgerald of Sycamore, IL; his extended family members and his many, many friends. In addition to his parents, Les was preceded in death by his sister, Lois Ilene Krenz and his brother, Howard Earl Mapes .
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Les' memory to Take the Lead, P.O. Box 6353, Watertown, NY 13601 or the American Heart Association, 20 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701.