Obituary Listings

Lester C. Laue

August 7, 1929 December 16, 2018
Lester C. Laue
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Obituary for Lester C. Laue

Lester C. Laue died December 16, 2018, at his ranch near Hanover, Kansas. He was 89 years old.
Lester was born on the family farm south of Hanover on August 7, 1929, to Lawrence and Alvena Laue. He attended Willowdale country school and graduated from Hanover High School in 1947. He served in the United States Navy as a Chief Petty Officer aboard the USS Comstock in the Korean War. On April 5, 1959, he married LeAnna Jandera at Zion Lutheran Church in Hanover.
Lester’s childhood dream was to breed purebred cattle. Using leased land and handmade feed bunks, he started with a registered Hereford bull. In 1959, that bull fell into the icy waters of the Little Blue River, leading to a decision that would change his life forever. Lester replaced the ill-fated Hereford with a new Charolais bull — one of the first in Kansas. It was the beginning of what would become Laue Charolais Ranch. In 1967, he imported the first fullblood Charolais bulls from Canada to America. One of them, named “Beau Ivo,” set world records for yearling weight and auction price in 1968, and was named “Bull of the Year.” For nearly 60 years, he marketed purebred cattle to over 30 states, Canada, and Mexico.
Lester lived a life of service in agriculture and his community, as the first President of the Bluestem Charolais Association, a committee member of the American-International Charolais Association, a board member of the Kansas Livestock Association, a life member of the American Quarter Horse Association, and a member of the Kansas Cattlemans Association.
He was a Governor of the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City, where he participated throughout his life. He served on the board of directors of the First National Bank of Washington for 30 years. He was a member of the USD 223 Board of Education, the Washington County Fair Board, and the Hanover Cemetery Board. He was President of the church council at Zion Lutheran Church, and a commander of the Hanover American Legion.
Lester had a lifelong love of good horseflesh, and great pride in his herd of foundation Skipper W Quarter Horses. In his later years, he enjoyed the thrills of the Laue Ranch Thoroughbred racing stable. In 2005, he celebrated in two winners circles in Chicago, when three year old colt Gun Salute won the Secretariat Stakes (G.1) at Arlington Park and the Hawthorne Derby (G.3) at Hawthorne Racecourse.

Lester was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother Avis Laue, sister Dorothy Gentry, and brothers William, Leroy, and Quentin Laue.

He is survived by his wife and ranch partner LeAnna, his son Brant, who is Chief Counsel to the Governor of Kansas in Topeka, his daughter Lisa McArdle, who is a nurse in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and his sister Marilyn Doupnik of Columbus, Ohio.

Burial will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Royal Association in Kansas City.


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