SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

July 26, 2013

Lester G. Punchard, 78


Marblehead — Lester G. Punchard, 78, of Marblehead, passed away at the Lafayette on July 23, 2013. Born on November 16, 1934, at the old Mary Alley Hospital in Marblehead, he was the son of the late Archie and Gladys (Jones) Punchard.

He attended Marblehead Schools then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. While on active duty, he attended atomic, biological, and chemical warfare school, as well as NCO leadership school where he graduated first in class. Lester was released from active duty in September of 1956 with the rank of Sergeant.

He worked as a clerk at Zina Goodell Hardware followed by five years as a dispatcher at Lynn Sand and Stone. In 1966, he began a career with the United States Postal Service as a clerk eventually becoming a letter carrier. Retiring in 1992, his time was taken up transporting people to and from Logan Airport and other destinations, gardening for quite a number of people, most with ocean views, and his biggest obsession – genealogy, his own and for others.

He was a member of Marblehead Museum and Historical Society, Essex Society of Genealogy, New England Historic Genealogy, National Maritime Historical Society, and a Plank Owner at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Through his years of genealogical research, he claimed decadency of Philip Aston, “the Robinson Crusoe of Marblehead;" two victims of the Witch Hysteria, Roger Conant and John Endicott; 12 passengers on the Mayflower, and earlier European ancestors tracing to English and French Kings.

Lester was predeceased by his former wife of 50 years, Marion E. (Armstrong) Punchard. He is survived by two daughters, Karen O’Donoghue of Lebanon, Maine, and her daughter, Leah O’Donoghue of Marathon, Fla., and Kristin A. Salters and her husband, Stanley, and their children, Ryan and Randall; his sister, Carolyn L. Knight and her husband, Howard, of Brandenton, Fla.; two brothers, Philip Punchard of Hesperia, Calif., and Clifford Punchard and his wife, Connie, of Wells, Maine, and their daughters, Robin and Kimberly; nephew, Clifford T. Punchard; and niece, Susan Birkholz.

ARRANGEMENTS: A graveside service with honors will be held at Waterside Cemetery, 294 West Shore Drive, Marblehead, on Tuesday, July 30, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Marblehead Animal Shelter, 44 Village Street, Marblehead, MA 01945. Arrangements by the Eustis and Cornell Funeral Home, Marblehead. Online guest book is at www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com.