Carl Glen Chester, age 89 years, a resident of rural Vienna, passed away Thursday, September 17, 2015, at 4:35 a.m. at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion.
Carl was born June 22, 1926 in Tamms, Illinois. He was the eldest child born to Charles E. and Gladys M. (Thomas) Chester.
On November 28, 1951, Carl was united in marriage to Katie Goskie. She preceded him in death on November 12, 1974.
Carl is survived by his children – Linda (Frank) Chun of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Donna (Gary) McCabe of Goreville, Janet (Jeff) Barham of Karnak, Dale (Dessa) Chester of Vienna, Patty (Randy) Jackson of Tunnel Hill, Judy (Allan) Kruger of Metropolis, Gloria (Robert) Cox of Junction City, Kansas, Sandra (Tony) English of Paducah, Kentucky; 22 grandchildren – Christopher, Michael, Vanessa, Nyla, Bryan, Jennifer, Jamie, Tommy, Davina, Arthur, Harmony, Johnathan, Bradley, Stephanie, Kimberley, Chantal, Michelle, Mysti, Mandi, Tray, Dalton and Hailey; 31 great grandchildren – Layla, Mya, Kaleena, Kai, Grayson, Avery, Hollyn, Brynn, Bryce, Emmaleah, Revi, Riot, Mallory, Clover, Alyssa, Devin, Olivia, Katelyn, Connor, Colton, Cooper, Kylie, Kage, McKinley, Turner, Alivia, Curtis, Dalton, Hailey, Chelsea and Samantha; a brother – Wendall (Mary) Chester of Granite City and a sister – Beatrice (Buddy) Robertson of Pahrump, Nevada; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many friends.
In addition to his parents and wife, Carl was preceded in death by a daughter – Nyla Gail Chester, a sister – Mildred (Don) Benninghoff and 2 brothers – Charles (Mary) Chester and Lee Chester.
Carl left high school at the age of 17 to join the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the USS War Hawk in the South Pacific Theater of operation during World War II. He served in Guam, Leyte, Luzon, New Guinea and Japan. He was honorably discharged on January 6, 1946 with the rank of Seaman First Class. Carl returned to Southern Illinois and continued his education. He graduated from Tamms High School in 1946. In 1949, Carl reenlisted in military service, joining the U.S. Air Force, serving during the Korean War era until November 24, 1953, when he was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant (T).
Carl’s working career was with the Illinois Department of Corrections. He was employed at various centers throughout the state prior to working at the Vienna Correctional Center. Carl retired in the late 1970’s with the rank of sergeant.
Carl was a Christian and a member of the Baptist faith. He was a talented musician, playing the guitar and mandolin. He enjoyed singing and had written a number of poems. Carl was also an author and had kept a daily journal from the age of 16 until recently, when declining health prevented him from recording his daily observations. Carl was a very innovative man and enjoyed a wide variety of hobbies and interests. He was an avid motorcycle enthusiast and aviator. He built and flew his own ultralight aircraft. He was a member of the Johnson County Civil Defense and was ahead of his time in his passion for electronics and computers. He is remembered for being among the first area residents to own a microwave oven, camcorder, and Beta machine. For many years, he and Katie were avid citizen band (C.B.) radio enthusiasts. His handle was “Gunsmoke.” Katie’s handle was “Miss Kitty” and their home base was known as the “Long Branch.” Carl had a deep love of the land and referred to his home site as “the farm.”
A graveside service will be conducted Monday afternoon, September 21, 2015, at 3:30 p.m. at the Vienna Fraternal Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded by the Beggs-Gurley VFW Post #5222 and the U.S. Air Force Burial Honors Detail.
Visitation will be held Monday afternoon from 2 – 3 p.m. at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.
Memorials may be made to the Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.), 3725 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, Kentucky 41076, the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or to the Beggs-Gurley VFW Post # 5222, P.O. Box 561, Vienna, Illinois 62995.