Lester T. McCandless of Kerhonkson, New York, died on April 17, 2023 at his home. He was born September 3, 1940 in Morristown, NJ to the late Lester and Josina (Jilleba) McCandless. Lester was affectionately known as ‘Les’.
Les was a Counselor with Veritas Villa for well over 40 years and had filled many positions with expertise and care. The Villa has lost a great friend. He was surrounded by dear friends, the love of cousins, his Villa family and Hospice family. He gave so much genuine care and love to all around him and loved all the Villa guests, constantly reminding them they are good people. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Les was born on Labor Day, he spent the next 35 years in Green Village, NJ with his grandparents and mother. His father had died when he was 8 years old. He attended business school and worked in retail. During this time, he began training and showing quarter horses all around the United States for other owners and was a licensed judge of all breeds of horses. He then moved from New Jersey to Long Eddy, NY where he became partners in a ceramic shop for a few years. At that time, he became involved with AA and went to Sullivan County Community College and pursued a career in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. Les went to work at the Veritas Villa in Kerhonkson (now the Villa Veritas Foundation) in 1979. As he got older he did less and less with horses but still judged shows from time to time. He retired in 2020, however still worked with alcoholics and addicts at the Villa. Les celebrated 50 years of sobriety in January 2021.
Besides his Villa family, Les is survived by his cousins, Rick and Loida Jilleba and their son, Eric.
Memorial visitation for family and friends will be held at Humiston Funeral Home, Kerhonkson on Saturday, April 29, 2023 from 11-1pm. A memorial gathering and celebration of his life will follow at the Villa at 1pm.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Les’ name to the Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation, 80 Washington Street, Suite 204, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 or click the link below.