Lester was born and raised in Miami, attended Eastern Kentucky University and became a 10th-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1992 NFL Draft.
He had 47 catches for 331 yards and 33 rushes for 126 yards and a touchdown in 93 games. He also was a standout special teams player.
During his time with the Rams and Steelers, Lester served as the lead blocker for Hall of Fame running back Jerome "The Bus" Bettis, earning the nickname "Bus Driver." He helped lead the Steelers to a Super Bowl appearance in 1996.
"I can't express how much I am going to miss you. My condolences go out to Natalie, your beautiful children, and the entire Lester family. May you rest in peace and power."
"It's a sad day to hear of Tim Lester's passing," Smith tweeted Tuesday. "My thoughts go out to his family, Steelers nation and his teammates that he so steadily blocked and protected."
Lester received the NFL's Unsung Hero Award in 1996 and 1997 for his community service efforts. He continued those efforts in retirement.
Former NFL fullback Tim Lester (C) -- who died Tuesday -- is survived by wife, Natalie, sons Tristan (L) and T.J. (R) and daughter Toni. Photo by Natalie Lester
"I have known Tim for many years and always thought the world of him," Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said in a news release.
"He was sincere and passionate about helping people and making the world a better place, including here in Milton."
Betty White attends the media preview for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Beastly Ball fundraiser at the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles on June 11, 2015. The actress died
December 31. She was 99 years old. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo