Charles Henry Chester Jr. passed away peacefully the morning of April 18, 2017. Charles was born in Ely, NV on February 10, 1926. His parents were Charles Chester Sr., Bianca Morretti and stepfather Marco Morretti. He was married to Rose Nediburger until her passing. They had a daughter, Kathie and they adopted a son, David. In 1974 he married Anne and together they raised her son Chris.
Charles was drafted into the army at the age of eighteen and served during the Battle of the Bulge. Charles was a hard working visionary. He moved from Ely to Elko in the late 50’s and started his own company, Charles Chester Plumbing & Heating in 1963. After twenty-one years, he relocated his business from Front Street to Mountain City Highway in 1984 being the 1st business on the north side of the new freeway. During his retired career he worked hard on another property north of Elko growing alfalfa and raising cows. He enjoyed the retired life as a rancher where he was famous for his bib overalls and white flat cap that became his everyday outfit.
“Good for the heart” is what Charles would always respond when asked why he worked so much. He was competitive in his ability to work hard. He was proud that when business was slow he would dig basements by hand and keep up with the Basques on how much dirt each of them could move with a pick and shovel and not rest. He was at his best if told it can’t be done or to fix a plumbing or heating need with limited tools. He is also known for soldering copper with a campfire when a torch wasn’t available. Needless to say, Charles Chester could do anything and solve any problem.
Charles was involved in many organizations around Elko. He was an Elko County Planning commissioner. He joined the Knights of Columbus and had been a member since eighteen years old. Charles was also involved in Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris member. He was a dedicated citizen for the bond to build the Elko Convention Center. Although he wasn’t much of a skier, Charles was the founder of Sno Bowl. His goal for the ski resort was to find a safer place to ski away from the highway on Adobe Summit. He was an advent chuckar hunter and from time to time a big game hunter. Charles was a local historic storyteller about his adventures in Ely and Elko. One famous story was about the first Elk in Nevada being around Ely.
Charles was known for his humor and contagious smile. He knew everyone who said hello and befriended anyone he didn’t. Around town he was also known for his love of dancing and funny rhymes. He always had an upbeat attitude along with a never-ending passion to build and fix anything.
He is preceded in death by his daughter Kathie, son David, and wives Rose and Anne.
He is survived by his son Chris J. Johnson (Lorrie), son-in-Law Bradley Hess (Judy). Grandchildren; Bret and Chuck Hess (Shelly), Chase, Makayla, and Pierce Johnson, along with his great grandchildren Andrew (Melinie), Katlin, Kristin, Emily and Brandon Hess.
Services will begin this Friday April 21st at 6:30 with a Rosary at Burns and a funeral at 11 on Saturday April 22nd at St Joseph Church.