John Michael Chesnut
Age 97, passed away on Sunday, October 20, 2019. John was born on September 9, 1922 in Rosalia, WA to Orlen J. and Sophia Chesnut. He attended school in Colfax, WA, graduating from Colfax High School in 1940, where he won the Washington State Wrestling Championship his senior year. He enlisted in the United States Army in September of 1940. He fought in the battle of Guadalcanal and was honorably discharged in September of 1945 in Fort Ord, CA.
While working in the fish canneries in Monterey he met Catherine Marks and they married in 1947. They were married 50 years when she passed away in July of 1997. They moved to Spokane in 1952, where he worked as a hydraulic specialist for Kaiser Aluminum Trentwood, beginning in 1953. He had a reputation as a first rate craftsman. Unfortunately, he was forced into early retirement in 1983 because of Multiple Sclerosis. His Multiple Sclerosis went into remission in the mid-1990s.
John was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 9 and VFW Post 51. John loved fishing the many lakes in the area. He also spent many hours reading and woodworking. Even with the partial paralysis of his right hand, he created many beautiful pieces of furniture, which he donated for auction or gave away. He survived many challenges; World War II, malaria, multiple sclerosis and attempted murder. He also suffered the death of his spouse, Catherine and his daughter, Diane. His great joys and blessings were Catherine and his children: Rosalie Brown, Fred (Eileen) Fisher, Diane Thomas, Marie (Denny) Sande, Frances (David) Murphy and Anna (Dan) McGee.
John was a devout Catholic and treasured his relationship with God through St. Francis Xavier Parish, where he attended weekly Mass for over 60 years. He sat in the same pew toward the front for many years. The last year he started using a walker to get around that did not fit his old pew. The move to a wider pew led him to declare the new pew as too hard, though with the same wood. He was able to live out his final years in his own home due to the loving care of his daughters Marie and especially Anna.
John was a quiet man and enjoyed family gatherings where there was a lot of laughter. He is survived by his sister Ruth Thomas of Mount Vernon, Wa. and all his children except his daughter Diane . John left behind many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Elizabeth Haddox and Sr. Marita Chesnut, brothers, Robert and Andrew Chesnut. Please feel free to make any donations in John’s name to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
A viewing will be held from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, followed by a rosary from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Friday, November 8, 2019, at Hennessey Funeral Home & Crematory, 2203 N Division St, Spokane, Washington. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, November 9, 2019 at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 545 E Providence Ave, Spokane, Washington, and concluding with burial at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7200 N Wall St, Spokane, Washington.
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