NORMAL - Robert L. Chester, 89, Normal, passed away Saturday (Oct. 10, 2009).
A private memorial service is planned. Burial will be in Wyoming. Carmody-Flynn Williamsburg Funeral Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial gifts may be made to: Normal Township Senior Program Activity Center, 1 Normal Plaza, 1110 Douglas St., Normal, IL 61761; or the Prairie Air Museum, 2029 E. Empire St., Bloomington, IL 61704.
Bob was born in Gouverneur, N.Y., on Christmas Eve, 1919.
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.
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 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. At the end of the war, he and Jane moved to Lusk, Wyo., where he found work in the oil business. Two sons, Jim and Doug, were born in Lusk in 1944 and 1948 respectively.
In the early 1950s, the family moved to North Dakota, first to Tioga and then to Crosby, where Bob continued his career in the oil business.
In the early 1960s, he moved his family to Bozeman, Mont., 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. Jane preceded Bob in death in 1999.
Bob is survived by his twin brother, Reginald, New York, and brother, Charles, North Carolina; two sons, Jim, Eureka, Mont., and Doug, Normal; daughter-in-law, Susan, also of Normal; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and special friend, Lorene Lindsay, Normal.