Lester Kisska
Lester Kisska
Lester Kisska

Obituary of Lester Kisska

Lester Kisska, born Ladislav Kišška in Motesiča Czechoslovakia, March 21, 1929, died at age 93 on May 15, 2022. He passed away unexpectedly in Bellingham WA. Les, as he was known by all who loved him, was an outgoing, strong, conscientious man with a unique sense of humor. He always jumped in to lend a hand to family, friends, or strangers in need. He was always interested in what other people had to say and made friends of everyone he met. He was a small boy at the onset of World War II and witnessed Nazi tanks grinding up the asphalt in front of him on their way to invade Poland. He was accused of espionage by the communists who took control of his country at the end of WWII and put into a prison where he was tortured. He escaped and hid in his family’s forest until he could make it out of the country across minefields. After many travails, Les made a new life for himself in Canada joined by his brother Steve where they attended the University of British Columbia. Les later graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and additionally got a degree in Forestry at the University of Idaho. Les adopted Sara, Kim, and Cindy McKenzie in 1958 when he married their mother, Virginia Bills McKenzie. He and Virginia divorced in 1978. Les met his soul mate, Catherine Collier in Bellingham and loved telling the story of how her father, Robert Collier, Dean of the College of Business at Western Washington University, had introduced them. Les was an entrepreneur with many successful businesses and interests. He sold hamburgers, raised raspberries and cucumbers, designed and sold kayaks, ran a gas station with AAA tow service, sold tractors, and invested in real estate. He loved kayaking and skiing and was always happiest when outdoors. Les and Catherine enjoyed hiking and skiing and went kayaking together, running the Rogue River, the American River, and others on the West Coast. Les was deeply devoted to his wife of 34 years, Catherine Collier and they enjoyed walking hand in hand and working together in the forests of their property in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Les loved contributing to the upkeep of the family property, Los Lagos Ranch and used his forestry expertise to keep the woods healthy and vibrant. Les and Catherine traveled internationally and had a great time visiting with family, friends, and new people all around the world. Les’ ability to speak 8 languages helped make it even more enjoyable. Les is predeceased by his mother, Olga Kišškova (Koren), his father Michael Kišška, brother Karol Kišška, nephew Kevin Kisska, and daughter Kim Kisska. Les is survived by his wife Catherine Collier, brother Steve Kisska, sister Julia Dofekova (Evgen), sister Eva Bouska (Vaclav), daughter Sara Pommier (D’Arcy), daughter Cindy Kisska, sister-in-law Helen (Karol), niece Vierka Krajcikova, (Peter), nephew Ferko Kisska ( Nina ), niece Dasha Jursova (Josef), nephew Miro Sova (Viera), niece Katka Sova, niece Kris Mehigan (David), niece Kathryn Schutze (Chris), nephew Mike Kisska (Maria), nephew Paul Bouska (Sasha), three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many loved great-nieces and great-nephews Donations in Les's memory may be made to Amnesty International or Doctors without Borders. A memorial in Les's honor will be held at the family property in Colorado, arrangements to be announced.
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