A graduate of Glasgow High School and Centre College (1950), Robert was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and served as president. He was also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Leadership Society and the Centre College Choir.
Robert was a decorated military veteran serving as corporal, sergeant, and lieutenant in the US Army during World War II and as captain in the 623rd field artillery during the Korean War
Upon his return to Glasgow in 1953, he was challenged to breathe new life into his father's business, Lessenberry and Jones Builder's Supply, a coal, feed, seed and brick business that began in 1914.
Robert A. served his community in numerous involvements that included president of Glasgow Community Concert Association, Glasgow Rotary, Chairperson of Glasgow Water Company, Glasgow Community Development, City Finance Committee, Glasgow Electric Plant Board, and WKU-Glasgow Campus Advisory Council. He was a past director of the Chamber of Commerce and Glasgow Municipal Housing and served many years on the Kentucky Independent College Foundation Board and Barren County Family YMCA as director and trustee.
In 1965, Robert was elected Mayor of Glasgow. His agenda included a payroll/profit sharing tax that would grow the community, establishing a local institution for post-secondary education, a new water filtration plant at Barren River, an effective planning and zoning commission along with a master plan for future development and a response to the needs of the youth of the community.
His devotion to the Presbyterian Church included service at the local level, as Elder, Choir Director, and Sunday school teacher, and at the state level, serving numerous positions with the Louisville Presbytery.
Robert's involvement with the Glasgow Railway Co., Inc. spanned 69 years. He served 19 years as director and was currently serving his 50th year as President. He was a partner in Lessenberry Building Centre, Lessenberry Electric & Plumbing Centre, and Lessenberry Development. He served as president of the Kentucky Retail Lumber Dealers, Indiana-Kentucky Hardware Association, and Hardware Wholesalers, Inc., now Do-it Best Corp. He also was a director of the National Lumber & Builders Material Dealers Association.
His relaxation was playing the piano and writing poetry for special occasions. For 62 consecutive years he wrote a Christmas poem that was sent to friends and customers.
Robert is survived by his loving wife of nearly 69 years, Mary Lloyd Howard Lessenberry. Their three devoted sons: Robert Howard Lessenberry and his wife, Dr. Judy Richey, Dr. Hugh Barret Adams Lessenberry and his wife, Pamela, and Leigh Langford Lessenberry and his wife, Beshka Moore. Also surviving are their six much adored grandchildren: MacLean, Palmer, Creighton, Hewett, Chenoah, and Langford Lessenberry.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 200 East Washington St., Glasgow, KY 42141, or Barren County Family YMCA Foundation, 1 YMCA Way, Glasgow, KY 42141.
Robert A. Lessenberry's energy, optimism, courage, enthusiasm, determination, hearty laugh, and love of family will be missed greatly and he will be loved forever.
A service celebrating a life well lived will be held 1:00 PM Thursday, October 22, 2015, at First Presbyterian Church, 200 East Washington Street, Glasgow, KY. Visitation at A. F. Crow and Son Funeral Home from 4:00PM until 8:00 PM Wednesday, October 21, 2015, and from 9:00AM until 11:00 AM on Thursday.