Lester Lee Shadrick, 53, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, died August 14, 2000, when the Bell 412 helicopter he was piloting crashed into the side of a mountain while he was helping fight a 38,000-acre wildland fire about 50 miles east of Fallon, Nevada. Lester was flying on contract with BLM through ERA Aviation.
Lester Lee Shadrick, Les as he was known to friends and family, graduated from West High School in Davenport, IA in 1966. He joined the army in July of 1966 and attended basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia along with helicopter pilot training at Ft. Hood, Texas. Les served 6 years before becoming a police officer in Davenport. After 5 years on the department, he re-enlisted in October of 1980 and served four more years, retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer in 1984. Les served a total of 2 tours in Vietnam and was awarded 3 Purple Hearts.
He married his childhood sweetheart Marlene Lynn Bingham on June 14, 1969, whom he had two children with. They settled in Lake Charles, Louisiana after Les’s discharge from the Army. He was employed with Era Aviation for fifteen years serving his last five years as Director of Training. He participated in medical evacuations, fire-fighting operations, state park rescues and for more than an ear, worked on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska.
Lester enjoyed fishing and woodworking but above all, he loved spending time with his family and friends. He was survived by his wife Marlene, a son Todd Bryan Shadrick and his wife Susie of Lake Charles, Louisiana; a daughter Trisha Baker of Macks Creek, Missouri; his father Wardie Shadrick of Lebanon; a sister, Sandra Fretz and her husband Harry, of Macks Creek, Missouri; and four grandchildren.