Unfortunatly I don't know the specific date, but this was clipped from the Norfolk paper in October 1918
John Lesner, father of Postmaster John A. Lesner, of Norfolk, passed away yesterday afternoon at his home in Willoughby Beach, in his 80th year. He was one of the best known men in this section of Virginia, having formerly been in public life for many years in Norfolk,Portsmouth County. He was a man of genial warm-hearted nature, and had a great many friends in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and vicinity, who will learn of his death with exceeding regret. His demise marks the passing of one of the "landmarks" so to speak of Tidewater Virginia, with the interests of which he was intimately related through a long number of years.
Mr Lesner was born ar Franfort-on-the-Main, May 23, 1839. In 1859 he came to America, first settling in New York City. He enlisted in the Union army in 1861, and coming to Norfolk the following year, became engaged in the tailoring business. He was elected sheriff of Norfolk county in 1870, serving four terms of four years each. As a member of the board of supervisors of Norfolk county for ten years, he was representative of Tanners Crek district. For a number of years he served on the harbor commission, and was a member of the ferry committee for a decade, being chairman of the committee under whose direction the first iron boat, the "City of Portsmouth" was built.
He was many years ago, proprietor of "Lesner's Park" in this city--located on Church street, and now occupied by the Virginia Fruit Juice Corporation--and it was a very popular recreation centre,Mr Lesner finding great pleasure in having with him and about him there the great number of children brought by their parents for the enjoyment which he had provided the patrons.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters, Mrs. A. T. Manship and Miss Amie Lesner, and six sons, James P., John A.,William H., Edward D., F. K., and Charles B. Lesner, all of this city.
The remains will be taken from the residence, 365 W. Twelfth street, for funeral privately at the grave in Elmwood Friday, at 3:30 pm, Rev Vernon I'Anson, D. D., officiating.