Obituary Details

Robert L. Chester

(12/24/1919 - 10/10/2009)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 10/28/2009

Robert L. Chester

Robert L. Chester, 89, of Bloomington- Normal, Illinois, passed away on Oct. 10, 2009. Bob was born in Gouverneur, New York in 1919 on Christmas Eve.

He went to work early and was a golf caddie at a New York country club. It was there he found his major passion in life, golf. Over the years Bob was a North Dakota state champion, a club professional and had five holes-in-one. He also taught golf at the high school level and took great pride in the fact he helped many people learn the game. He actively played the game until he lost his eyesight in 2004.

Bob was an accomplished artist and loved to talk about and teach art. He was very generous in giving away paintings to friends and family alike.

When World War II broke out, Bob and his twin brother, Reg joined the newly formed 10th Mountain Division and trained as Special Forces ski troops in New York and Colorado. About the same time he married Jane Fagan, a Registered Nurse from Lusk, Wyoming.

In 1943 he and his brother shipped off to Italy where he was a Communication Wire and Radio Specialist. He saw considerable combat and was extremely proud of his service. It is interesting to note, he returned to Italy in 2002 where the troops of the 10th Mountain were welcomed again by the local people as heroes and liberators.

At the end of the war, he and Jane moved to Lusk, Wyoming where he found work in the oil and propane business. Two sons, Jim and Doug were born in Lusk in 1944 and 1948 respectively.

In the early 1950's the family moved to North Dakota, first to Tioga and then to Crosby where Bob continued his career in the oil business. While there he helped start and coach a youth hockey program that continues today. He also won the local club golf club championship multiple times.

In the early 1960's he moved his family to Bozeman, Montana so his children would have the opportunity to attend college.

After the boys graduated, he and Jane relocated to Fruitland, Idaho where he eventually retired from the propane business. In retirement, he taught numerous fire departments butane and propane fire safety and suppression classes. Of a less serious nature, he and Jane traveled, golfed and gambled for fun.

Jane preceded Bob in death in 1999. At that time, he moved to Illinois to be closer to family. There he immediately made a number of friends, taught art classes at the Sr. Center and volunteered at the Prairie Air Museum. Bob enjoyed talking about art, golf and World War II.

Bob is survived by his twin brother Reginald, of New York, and brother Charles, of North Carolina; two sons, Jim of Eureka, Montana, and Doug of Normal, Illinois; Daughter-in-law Susan, also of Normal; three grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and special friend Lorene Lindsay of Normal.

Inurnment was in the Lusk Cemetery, in Lusk, Wyoming. Memorial gifts may be made to: Normal Township Senior Program Activity Center, 1 Normal Plaza - 1110 Douglas Street, Normal, Illinois 61761 or the Prairie Air Museum, 2029 East Empire Street, Bloomington, IL 61704.

Pier Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements in Lusk.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project


Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Fagan, James (07/13/1926 - 02/12/2003) View Record
Obituary Fagan, Madeline (04/29/1922 - 09/25/2002) View Record
Obituary Fagan, Thomas (09/03/1918 - 12/11/1999) View Record
Obituary Chester, Jane (06/02/1921 - 04/05/2000) View Record
Obituary Honeycutt, Margaret (04/09/1917 - 02/23/1974) View Record
Obituary Fagan, Thomas (03/26/1882 - 11/03/1931) View Record
Obituary Fagan, Josephine (03/31/1880 - 04/09/1945) View Record
Obituary Fagan, David (03/09/1917 - 01/10/1941) View Record
Obituary Chester, James (05/25/1944 - 07/30/2010) View Record