Obituary Listings

Leslie Custer

October 11, 1951 May 5, 2019
Leslie Custer
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Obituary for Leslie Custer

Leslie James “James” Custer, age 67, resident of Ponca City, OK passed away on Sunday May 5, 2019 in Oklahoma City, OK. Memorial ceremonies will be held in California and Booker, TX at a later date.

James was born on October 11, 1951 to Desley and Carol (Howard) Custer in Perryton, TX. James graduated high school in 1969 and enrolled at Dallas Baptist University. He received his Bachelor's of Science degree 1974. During this time, he spent his summers, from 1969 to 1971, traveling with the Continental Singers. From 1974-1988, he performed and directed the Jeremiah People. During his time with the Jeremiah People, he ministered and influenced thousands of people all over the United States to accept Christ as their Savior. After leaving the Jeremiah People, James and a good friend, Bob Hoose, took to the road as Custer and Hoose. They continued to minister to people about their loving God and saw many people make a commitment to accept Him. James decided it was time to leave the traveling behind and start a new career. He was office manager for the Actors Co-op where he also performed in the theatre until 2007. James always had a yearning to be a chef and was very talented in this area. In 2007, he decided to go to Cordon Bleu culinary art school and get his degree to be a chef. He took a job with Paramount Studios as a licensed working Chef. While at Paramount Studios, one of his assignments was to make Dr. Phil’s sandwich every day they were filming. He also was selected to cook for President Obama on one occasion. In 2017, James decided it was time to retire but he continued catering events for people who knew the accomplished Chef that he was.

In early 2018, James’ health started failing and he decided it was time to leave California and move to Ponca City where he could be closer to his sister and her family. James had lived in Ponca for a short while about 9 years ago and gained many friends. While in Ponca, James continued to cook. James also had a small part in the play, “August: Osage County” at the Ponca Playhouse and had planned to do more acting, but time ran out.

James will always be remembered for being an actor and chef but more importantly, he was a very kind, gentle, and loving person. James loved his family, furbabies, and friends more than you can imagine but above all, he loved his Lord and Savior. James was a Christian man that brought many people to the Lord. Many examples of this have been sent to his family over the past few days and it has been overwhelming the extent of the lives he influenced.

May you rest in peace My Sweet Brother. I will see you again one of these days.

He is survived by his sister Judi and her husband Dennis Newland; nephew: David and his wife Jodi Newland, niece, Lecia and her husband Doug Gunsalus; great-nephews and niece, Hayden Newland, Emercyn Gunsalus, Peyton Newland and Gage Gunsalus; furbabies, Dot and Gabby; grandson, Owen James Torti and many relatives and friends.

James was preceded in death by his parents; maternal grandparents, Oscar and Birdie Howard; and paternal grandparents, Roscoe and Emma Custer.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ponca City Humane Society, 900 W. Prospect Ave, Ponca City, OK 74601. You may make online condolences at

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