GAINESVILLE, FL - Faustina M. Lester, 95, of Gainesville went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, May 5, 2007, following a period of declining health.

Mrs. Lester was born on April 16, 1912 in Louisburg, N.C. She retired after 21 years of service at Sunland Training Center (now Tucachale) as an Occupational Therapistís Aide in the garden department. She previously owned and operated Faustinaís Florist Shop out of her home in Brooker, FL, during the sixties. She recently became a member of Fairbanks Baptist Church. She was actively involved in Brooker Baptist Church from 1955-1970 before moving to Gainesville. She was the WMU leader, GA teacher, Sunday School teacher, involved with Vacation Bible School, and in charge of the Flower Committee. During her early years of life, she played the organ at Leahís Chapel, Louisburg, and also at Hill King Methodist Church, Louisburg. During World War II, she wove the parachute material for the paratroopers at Burlington Mills in Franklinton.

She took several horticulture classes at the University of Florida while working at Sunland, but her true passion in life was her Christian faith and gardening. Her hobbies included crocheting, macrame, and sewing when she was not gardening and landscaping her yard.

She leaves behind to cherish her memory one daughter, Ernestine Leonard Swearingen of Gainesville, FL; one son, Johnny A. (Donald Rose) McGhee of Louisburg; two grandsons, Fred (Caroline) Swearingen and Donald Swearingen of Gainesville, FL; two great-granddaughters, Katie and Anna Swearingen of Gainesville.

Graveside services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at Fairbanks Cemetery, Fairbanks, FL, with Pastor Tim Williams of Fairbanks Baptist Church officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Plank Chapel United Methodist Church, c/o Johnny McGhee, 1324 Rocky Ford Road, Louisburg, NC 27549.

Arrangements are under the care of Milam Funeral and Cremation Services, 311 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601, (352) 376-5361.

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