January 12, 1919 – November 15, 2016
Chester passed away suddenly and peacefully at 97 at home in Sidney. Predeceased by his wife Margaret in 2006, and by his sister Adrien Hurt in 2009, he is survived by his children Barbara (Keith), Robert (Denise), Marilyn and granddaughter Barbara, great grandson Tyler, step-granddaughters Pamela, Sarah and Rebecca and their children, and his sister’s extended family. Chester was born in Chilliwack and grew up nearby. He left school at 13 at the height of the depression, and wandered BC searching for work. He apprenticed for a while to a talented cabinet maker, and woodworking became a vocation for years and a lifelong hobby. He left a job as mine carpenter at Copper Mountain when war was declared and returned to the coast where he built a small home for his aging parents in Burnaby. He left the North Van shipyards where he was a ship joiner to join the Navy as a shipwright in early 1942. On discharge, he attended UBC in geography, then worked in the natural resources department of Saskatchewan government for 14 years in resources research, development and management. While based in Prince Albert, he met and married Margaret Gibson, a graduate of Vancouver General Hospital nursing school. In 1965 he transferred to the federal government in Ottawa, where he worked with all ten provinces on federal inputs to provincial programs, primarily related to outdoor recreation and tourism development. He retired in 1977 and returned to the coast. With both daughters enrolled in UVic, he and Margaret settled near Sidney where he built them a home. He kept busy with consulting, building, volunteering and extensive traveling. After his last trip, to Mexico at 95, he maintained the only place in the world he hadn’t visited but would have liked to was the Galápagos Islands. In recent years he suffered hearing loss which severely hindered any social activity. He will be remembered by his golfing, curling, and lawn bowling friends for his persistent good humour and by his family for his generous nature. His ashes will be interred beside Margaret’s in her family plot near Kyle, Saskatchewan. There will be a small informal gathering of family and friends at Chester’s home in Sidney, 2389 Brethour Ave, on Tuesday December 20, 3pm.