John Wesley Chester, known as "Wes" to family and friends, was a longtime resident of South Bend, Indiana. As far back as 1944 when South Bend was abuzz with big manufacturing companies like Singer Sewing Machine, Bendix Brake Corporation, Studebaker...and of course, Oliver Farm Equipment. John worked for two of these big companies during their heyday...can you guess which ones?
After leaving his birthplace of Mammoth, Arkansas around the age of 7, he would spend his preteen years in Memphis, Tennessee. Around the age of 11 or 12, he ventured northward...all the way up to South Bend.
He worked over 30 years with Oliver Farm Equipment after having served proudly as an infantryman in the United State Army, fighting in the Korean War. He and his father George Wesley Chester worked at Oliver at the same time for a while...different shifts, however.
John enjoyed fishing on the St. Joe River for Blue Gill and fanatically cheering on his Chicago White Sox (though he would later pledge his baseball allegiance to the Houston Astros). His young son can still see him sitting in their living room in his chair right next to the front door, listening to the baseball game on his 6X3X2 inch, plastic and metal transistor radio with the combination thin metal handle/radio stand.
He was no slouch in the kitchen either, having no problem frying up some chicken wings, catfish or rustling up some collard greens and cornbread. I can still see those chicken wings coming out of that small paper bag right before he plopped them in that black cast iron skillet. He of course gave all of this up when he married one of the best cooks in South Bend...please, one of the best cooks in Northern Indiana...Gloria Scott.
A lot of South Bend residents would've caught a glimpse of Wes driving around town in his 1965, pale yellow, black top convertible Cadillac Coupe De Ville when he was a younger man. John Wesly Chester was a quiet, peaceful and upstanding resident of South Bend, Indiana...just ask anyone who knew him.
John is survived by his remaining, loving family: Christopher George Chester (son), Jonnie Roberson (sister), Theodore Jerome Chester (brother), Theodore's wife Patricia and Craig Allen Scott (stepson), Caressa Chester, Wesley Chester and Calvin Chester (grandchildren). John now joins his siblings who preceded him: Betty Jean Chester, Richard Columbus (RC) Chester, Fred Lee Chester, Ruby Jean (Chester) Bean, Mary Ann (Chester)Taylor, Michael Eugene Chester and lastly Cleola Ola (Chester) Peak. He will be missed by all who knew him.
To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of John W. Chester hosted by Alford's Mortuary.
Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of John W. Chester.