McKinley Lester McCarty was born September 21, 1927 at Pinkstaff, IL to Herbert and Mildred (Cannon) McCarty. He grew up and attended country grade school at Flat Rock, IL. In 1945 he graduated from Lawrenceville High School in Lawrenceville, IL, where he participated in vocal music groups and track. He served in the US Navy, then attended college at Charleston, IL and completed business college at Danville, IL. On June 10, 1950 he married Carol Joan Kearney at Danville, IL. He worked as a bookkeeper at a construction company then began his newspaper career in 1950 at Lawrenceville, IL He moved to Mitchell in 1952 and worked for the Daily Republic for thirty-seven years until his retirement in 1989.
Les was a member of the First United Methodist Church, life member and Past Exalted Ruler of the Mitchell Elks Club, charter member of the Mitchell Exchange Club and charter member of the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Committee. He served many years on the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board and was an active member of the Mitchell Jaycees.
He is survived by his wife, Carol; two children, David (Patty) McCarty of Raleigh, NC and Dean (Julie) McCarty of Golden Valley, MN; five grandchildren: Kelly and Chris McCarty of Raleigh, NC, Laura and Tim McCarty of Sioux Falls, SD, Colin McCarty of Golden Valley, MN; a daughter-in-law, Debbi Christianson of Sioux Falls, SD; three sisters: Mary Ambadjes of Waterbury, CT, Reba Gable of Bridgeport, IL, Connie Hawley of Lawrenceville, IL and an aunt, Garnett Stoltz of St. Francisville, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents, one son, Patrick in 1994, two brothers, William and Robert and one sister, Edith Dickson.