Obituaries » Carl Egbert Hester, III

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Carl Egbert Hester, III

April 26, 2019

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Dr. Carl Egbert Hester, III, beloved scholar, storyteller, husband, father, son, brother, grandfather and friend, passed at his home on April 25, 2019, surrounded by his brother, his two daughters and the love of his life, Deanna.

He was born at home in Hurdle Mills N.C. on July 9, 1937 to Carl and Frances Hester. He was preceded in death by his parents. He will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, Deanna Decker Hester; his daughters, Michelle Hester Nay and Emily Hester Gambone; his sons-in-law, David Nay and Tony Gambone; and nine grandchildren, Kieran, Axel, Markus and Marya Nay and Mia, Lucas, Jonah, Aria and Lyra Gambone. He is also survived by his brother, Michael Hester; three nephews, David, Benjamin and Joshua; many cousins and countless dear friends on two continents.

At the age of three, his family moved to Portsmouth Va. where he spent his childhood and met Deanna. He was the Junior State Champion in Archery, an Eagle Scout, a member of the Order of the Arrow and an outstanding tennis player.

He was a Phi Beta Kappa History Major at Duke University where Deanna finished her own degree in 3 years so she could follow him to New York City. They were married in Portsmouth on June 4, 1960. In New York he completed a Masters of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary and received his PhD from Columbia University.

During his long academic career, he taught at Columbia and Emory Universities and Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, where he received the Gillie A. Larew Award for Distinguished Teaching. He and Deanna spent many years in Tübingen, Germany, a second home to them. There, he researched 19th Century historical theology, his work made possible by the University of Tübingen and numerous awards, including two Fulbrights and a Humboldt. He also served for two years as the Director of the German-American Institute in Freiburg, Germany.

He will be remembered for his quick wit, kind heart and brilliant mind. People were drawn to his entertaining stories, his comforting wisdom and his warm spirit. He was a wise counselor and a true and faithful friend. He believed in always saying yes to adventure. An avid runner and hiker, he refused to give in to the ravages of Parkinson’s disease for as long as he could. In all things he was kind.

The family wishes to thank countless friends for their dedication and their support and all of Carl’s caregivers, especially Jackie and Elizah. The family would also like to thank Senior Independence Hospice of Westminster Canterbury, including; Crystal, Rebecca, Susan, Wendy, Mary, Jasmine and Tabitha. The family is especially grateful to Mike Zealand of Get Up Training Studio who kept Carl’s body and spirit strong.

Contributions can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at Grand
Central Station, PO Box 4777 New York, NY 10163.

A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

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