BELLE PLAINE — William Samuel "Sam" Clester, former publisher of the Bell Plaine News, died Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. He was 72 and had been fighting cancer.
Mr. Clester was born and raised in Belle Plaine, was a graduate of Wichita State University and honorably served as a Specialist 5 in the U.S. Army. He worked as a police officer in Wellington, then found his career in the printing and paper industries which led him to reside in Houston, Los Angeles and Kansas City.
In 1979, he moved back to Belle Plaine to become publisher of the Belle Plaine News. He retired in 2010.
He was a former member of the Kansas Press Association Board of Directors.
He was president of the Belle Plaine Chamber of Commerce and was instrumental in establishing Belle Plaine's annual Tulip Time Festival.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Carolyn; his son Maj. Wm. Grant (Theresa) Clester; his daughter Shana (Amy) Scott, daughter of Carole Zenner Clester; a sister, Lexie Hamblin, Derby, and four grandchildren.
A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Nov. 19, 2012 at the Belle Plaine United Methodist Church, 124 E. 10th Ave. Flowers may be delivered to the church that Monday morning or memorial donations may be made to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, 313 S. Market, Wichita, KS 67202 or the Shriners' Plane of Mercy.
To read a column about Sam Clester by Kevin Noland, click here.