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John Lee Chester (Jack), 82, of West Chester, PA passed away Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Paoli Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.
Born June 18, 1936 in Summit, NJ, he was the son of the late Paul Edmund Chester and the late Agnes Emilia Gardell Chester.
Jack was an amazing father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He is survived by his children, John (Julie), Susie, and Pam (John) Armbruster, his sister Sally (Lee), niece Jill, and his former wife Judith. “Grandpa” will be greatly missed by his five grandchildren, Ella, Jack, Johnny, Will, and Kevin.
Jack grew up on the family horse farm in Marlboro, NJ and graduated from Freehold High School in NJ in 1954. In school, he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad as the Raritan Bay drawbridge operator. He attended Monmouth College and graduated in 1961. After college, he joined the New York Central Railroad, which led to residences all over the Midwest including Cleveland, where he met and married Judith Lobello from Akron, Ohio in 1967. His railroad career continued for the New York Central Railroad, the Penn Central Railroad, the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and then Conrail, which brought Jack and his family to the Philadelphia area in the late 1970's.
Jack enjoyed his years working for Conrail in the operations improvement and later automotive marketing departments. He retired from Conrail in 1992 and in 1995 joined TTX in Chicago, working with the multi-level reload group until 2003. He made Naperville, Illinois his home from 1995 until 2017, when he returned to the West Chester area to be with family.
Jack had a lifelong passion for all things railroad. He was an avid model railroader, building model railroads in the family homes in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Jack can be considered one of the original prototype modelers and enjoyed detailing model engines, passenger and freight cars for his beloved Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. He also loved travelling with his family (especially to locales close to seafood!), gardening, fishing, horseback riding and playing cards.
Relatives and friends are invited to his Visitation on Saturday, June 30, 2018 from 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm at DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc., 410 N. Church St., West Chester, PA 19380, 610-696-1181,www.DellaFH.com; followed by his Memorial Service at 2:00 pm.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital or the Diabetes Research Foundation of your choice.